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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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Derek Lachut
Mr. Bennett made a lasting imprint to countless students and I will remember him for the rest of my life. His passion for the arts and education will be never forgotten. He created a legacy. Rest in peace.
It was very much an honor to be part of the community band that he codirected… Making all of us, better musicians, and better people
Susanne Finke
I no longer live in Pittsburgh, but I came across Mr. Bennett's obituary. It saddens me to learn of his passing and suffering (cancer). He was truly a GREAT person. He saw myself and my other 3 siblings through 4 years of band AND marching band. Anyone who has been through marching band knows that 3 months of summer practice from 7am-4pm were relentless! Mr. Bennett was with us the ENTIRE TIME. Something as high school kids we never really considered how much of himself, his time, etc. he put into what he did. I remember his reddish beard (not so red later). He was AWESOME! Mr. Bennett had a positive, permanent influence on my life. Thank you, Mr. B., You will always be here in memory.
Greg & Linda (R.I.P.) Pasternak
Jim inspired USC students and their parents in music, leadership and hard work. Linda and I appreciated the encouragement that he provided for daughters Michele and Jennifer. We also enjoyed working with him first as band parents and then co-presidents of the USC band parents. Jim always found a way or a person to get things done. He is missed by all.
Richard U
Mr. Bennett was a fantastic teacher and person! LOVED when he'd sit in with us and play the flugel horn. Probably knew some of us could use some backup as he was KIND and engaged even with us non-virtuosos, although he DID demand accuracy in our playing and everything else. What a great sense of humor and mind too. He will be greatly missed, but set a wonderful example for everybody and I know he lives on in our lives even still.
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