Walter H. Benedict

December 28, 1921October 20, 2012

Walter H. Benedict, M.D., devoted husband, loving father, and well known ophthalmologist, passed away October 20, 2012. He was 90. He will be long remembered for his generous, compassionate and loving nature. Walter Benedict was born on December 28, 1921, in Rochester, Minnesota, where his father was head of the Eye Department of the Mayo Clinic. After graduating from Carleton College he received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1946. Following completion of a fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Benedict returned to Rochester and received additional training in his specialty at the Mayo Clinic. In 1952, he moved to Knoxville and established his medical practice. Dr. Benedict was a past President of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine and served as Chief of Staff of the East Tennessee Baptist Hospital. On a national level, he was a member of the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the American Academy of Medicine, and was a past President of The American Eye Study Club. After retiring in 1989, Dr. Benedict became an avid golfer and also enjoyed ballroom dancing. Survivors include his wife Burnette B. Benedict; sister Barbara Benedict Hanlon, Rochester, Minnesota; sons John W. Benedict II (Cynthia), Longwood, Florida, and Walter H. Benedict, Jr. (Beth), Atlanta, Georgia; stepdaughters Rebecca Vittetoe and Melissa Hannah (Ben), Knoxville, Tennessee; grandchildren Leila Benedict Theophilus, Longwood, Florida, John W. Benedict, III, Denver, Colorado, Cathryn Benedict Chetek (Brett), St. Louis, Missouri, Bo S. Benedict and Elizabeth Benedict Fishburne (William), both of Charleston, South Carolina; great granddaughter Ava Rose Theophilus, Longwood, Florida; step grandchildren Robert J. Vittetoe, Laura R. Vittetoe, Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah Lilly (Sherman), and Joby Hannah both of Clinton, Tennessee, and Ian Hannah, Sommamish, Washington, and three step great grandchildren, Hailey, Kasey, and Morgan Vittetoe. Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday, October 22, at Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, October 23, at 11:00 AM at Woodlawn Cemetery, 4500 Woodlawn Pike. The family wishes to express their appreciation to Covenant Hospice and Tennova Residential Hospice for their care and kindness. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, 611 Granite Springs Rd., Yorktown Heights, New York, 10598, or the Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., Knoxville.


  • Visitation Monday, October 22, 2012
  • Graveside Service Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walter H. Benedict

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Dottie Peagler

November 1, 2012

Burnette, I am so sorry you have had such pain. Jerry and I knew you and Walt way back when. We have lost touch but I know he was happy with his dancing as were you. Jerry would, if he could remember Walt, as a fine colleague and physician. Much love and sympathy to all.

October 26, 2012

Dear Beau and Beth,
So sorry for the loss of your father, just a sweet memory seeing him at Elizabeth's wedding - a beautiful , special night. Love to you both, praying for peace and comfort for you and your family.
Love Stephanie Nuesse

Linda Giurato

October 25, 2012

Please accept my sincere sympathy for your loss of Dr. Benedict. He was my ophthalmologist and friend for many years until his retirement. I met him when I was only 8 years old (1957). He was the surgeon who removed my eye. I will always remember his soft voice and kindness. I visited his office annually after I became an adult and moved to Florida. He considered me a favorite patient. I was never able to replace him. He will always have a special place in my heart and I know he will be sadly missed. God Bless each of you.
Linda (King) Giurato

Raymond Cruze

October 24, 2012

Burnette and Family, So sorry for your loss. I always remember how kind and thoughtful Walter was to me .

October 24, 2012

To The Benedicts and all related,my thoughts and prayers are sent for you. Walter was always a pleasure to be around when he would visit with us in Florida.He reflected Such a true gentle hearted man.You always felt important in his presence that was just his style.Love To You All,
Stephanie Fuhrey

October 23, 2012

To all The Benedicts,
Please know that I am thinking of all of you at this time.I met Walt through Barbra Hanlon. Walt and I had been "penpals" and he totally represented the definition of a true "gentleman".Janet P. Janes

Bill Usher

October 23, 2012

To Burnette, our cousins and their families. So sorry for the loss of Uncle Walt. He was such a fun loving person and all around great guy. Wished we had not lived as far apart.
Warm wishes and prayers to all.
Bill and Donna Usher, Houston, TX
Kristin & Allison

Matt Stegall

October 22, 2012

Very sad news. Everyone here at Harper Infiniti sends there thoughts and prayers to Dr. Benedict's family. He will be greatly missed by anyone that knew him. Just a great person...

Tiffany Ford

October 22, 2012

Benedict & Vittetoe family, I am so deeply sorry for your loss.Your family will be in my prayers in this very difficult time. God Bless You All!

John L. and Mary Mayne Perry

October 22, 2012

He was an exemplar of so much that was so good in life.