John Albert DeBenedetti

July 28, 1935April 29, 2021

John Albert DeBenedetti, 85, passed away peacefully Thursday, April 29.

He was born in Portland to Joseph and Elva DeBenedetti. He attended Benson High School, class of 1952. Following graduation from the University of Portland, he became an accountant.

He was blessed with a large and loving family and was married to MaryKay DeBenedetti for 58 years. An expert and pioneer in the craft beer making industry, he and MaryKay owned F.H. Steinbart Company, the nation’s oldest home brewing and wine making supply company.

An avid and competitive sailboat racing enthusiast, John’s passion for sailing began at 13 while in the Sea Scouts. Known as Father Lightning, he was a charter member of the Vancouver Lake Sailing Club and fostered an interest in sailing in others. A devout Catholic and member of The Madeleine Parish, John served as president of the parents club, and worked tirelessly as a volunteer in support of Maddy’s Cart to feed the hungry.

He is survived by his wife, MaryKay, five children, five grandchildren, and his sisters, Arlene Harvey and Judy DeBenedetti. He will be greatly missed for his humorous, silly side, and remembered for his love of the Oregon Coast and enjoying a good game of bocci ball. A celebration of his life and sharing of stories is planned for an outdoor location in Portland this summer.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Albert DeBenedetti

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Jo and Matthew Berube/Henley

May 15, 2021

We will miss John and his kindness, both on and off the water. Our thoughts are with Mary Kay and family. Jo and Matthew

phil smith

May 6, 2021

I had the privilege being offered a seat on Roger Hick's Lightning Sailboat and I became a regular at VLSC on Tuesdays. I would have never had the opportunity John if you hadn't gathered the interest to start the club on Lake Vancouver years earlier. Intense racing. Dinner after by some crew. Keg supplied through John. And always $ for the beer jar. I got to know a lot of great people through you. Thank you John for the memories.

Dan Martin

May 3, 2021

A lot of fond memories with John, from VLSC, the beach house trash can fish boil on the Oregon coast and sailing in the Virgin Islands. Favorite memory is John getting sunburn on his feet in the BVI and his feet swelling so much his shoes had to be cut open. The duct tape industry will miss him as well as 100s of his friends. Mary K, my condolences to you and your family. Dan Martin

Arleen Harvey

May 3, 2021

Dear MaryKay,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Love Arleen and family.

Juliana Vail ockler

May 1, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you all.

steve Weber

May 1, 2021

John and Mary Kay gave me a brewing kit as a wedding gift in 1992.
I'm still brewing today. A gift that keeps on giving.
I had a lot of fun sailing with John at VLSC.
The first time I fell off of a boat I was racing with John. We rounded a mark and I missed the hiking strap. He wasn't too happy, but he did come back to pick me up!
Rest in peace John