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James M. Bennett

  • On June 12, 2023

James M. Bennett, age 79, of Upper St. Clair, passed away peacefully with family by his side, after a long battle with cancer on June 9, 2023. Born on March 18, 1944, he was the son of the late Margaret and Fred Bennett.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Terry Bennett; loving father of Chris Bennett and Jon Bennett; grandfather of Sarah, Jack, Eleanor, and Francine Bennett; dear brother of the late John Bennett and late Dotty Bennett; uncle and great uncle of Doug (Lisa) Max and Maria Bennett, Judy (Scott) Beedle, the late Doug (Lindsie) Marsteller, Jennifer (David) Silvers, David (Michael Botts) Camilla Marsteller Botts, John Kiselica, Alex (Angela) Nick Kiselica, Justin, Benjamin, and Samuel Marsteller.

Jim was the former Director of Bands and Chairman of Fine Arts for the Upper St. Clair School District. Serving the community for 30 years he took immense pride in the accomplishments of his students. He often spoke of his good fortune having had the opportunity to share his love of music with thousands of students.  Jim was a devoted alum of West Virginia University.

Jim, together with Dean Streator founded Community Band South providing an opportunity for musicians to continue their musical pursuits as adults. During his retirement, Jim managed the Upper St. Clair Theatre, bringing groups like River City Brass Band and Town Hall South to the community. An avid foodie, he continued to build on the cooking skills taught to him by his mother and loved hosting holiday meals for his family.

A memorial service will be held at John McMillian Presbyterian Church (875 Clifton Road, Bethel Park, PA, 15102), on June 24, 2023, at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the family.


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Jon Dinman
Jim was one of those teachers who truly made a difference. May his memory be a blessing
Melody #
May all of our fondest memories of Jim sustain us through our sad times. His gifts brought to us will continue forevermore to be re-gifted throughout the generations. Sending much love & care to all of his family & friends.
Jim Mrvos
Mr. Bennett was a great teacher and musician. He was an even greater human being. He touched the lives of all of his band students and his community. I met Jim Bennett almost exactly 50 years ago. The gift of music he gave to me still resonates every day as I listen to music and I continue to play music. Teachers receive a lot criticism. But as I see it, they have one of the best and most important jobs in the world: helping to create thinking, caring, talented people. I know Mr. Bennet did that for me and I’m sure he did that for those who were lucky enough to be his students. May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal.
Tom Wriggins
As an anomaly in high school, I played football and was in the concert band! Mr. Bennett never made any fuss about not being in the marching band or being more dedicated to band than football. The same cannot be said of the football coach! I had the honor of touring Europe with Mr. Bennett and the American Youth Symphony. That experience changed my life and gave me life long friends. Thanks to (and the only positive thing)Facebook Mr. Bennett and I were able to reconnect and stay in touch. I know I told him, but I hope he knows that the number of lives he touched and taught the love of music is incredible. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had, tough but loving, firm but funny and someone you felt comfortable talking to. I am better for knowing him.
Robert M. Kothe
Chris and Jon, I was very fortunate to have studied with your father for five years. He brought me up from 8th grade to play violin in the Spring High School Musical and I was able to play in the pit orchestra for another 4 years. I was also fortunate to be a Marching Band Manager for 5 years - again, he allowed me to help out in 8th grade. I learned a lot from him about music and leadership. His conducting for the pit orchestra taught me how to be a student conductor and his leadership of the Marching Band taught me how to be a head band manager - both skills spilled over into other parts of my life. You should also know that I remember you both being at Band Camps and Football Games - family was always so important. I loved his sense of humor, commitment to his students and the close working relationship we had. Please know this, there are thousands of students who are better people because of your Dad. My sincerest condolences for your loss! May God comfort you and keep you and your families in His Care! Robert Kothe, Class of 1984
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