Walter Alexander slipped peacefully away with his loving wife Alice (Vozza), and children at his side in their home in Upper Saddle River, NJ on March 24th. Born March 27, 1929, he was 84 years of age.
Walt was a first generation Italian-American, son of Rena and Severino Benedetto, a former Executive Chef at New York's Longchamps Restaurants. Walt graduated from Ramsey High School in 1947 and immediately joined the Navy where he served his country and was honorably discharged in 1949. Upon his return from service, Walt studied electrical engineering at Newark College of Engineering. He worked as an electrical engineer for several firms including Bendix Corporation and Avion Electronics. While at Avion, he worked among the team of engineers who developed guidance beacons supporting the Apollo spacecraft lunar missions. Walt summered as a lifeguard on Upper Greenwood Lake, NJ where he met his lifetime love, Alice. They were married on January 30, 1955. In 1961 Walt built the family home in Upper Saddle River where he resided for 53 years. Reliable and trustworthy, Walt was a husband and father that always could simplify any issue. He will be remembered for his ability to be the ultimate sounding board for advice, providing needed guidance and keen insight to answer the most difficult questions. In 1968 Mr. Benedetto joined Hewlett Packard as a computer engineer and salesman. Over his 32 year career at HP, he held many different sales and management positions until becoming General Manager for HP's Eastern Sales Region. The HP Alumni Organization said that Walt will "be remembered as the most respected and revered father of HP for the New York, New Jersey Area. He always was the person that earned the deserving honor and respect of all those that worked for him and with him." Walt was well known for his selling philosophy and was a uniquely skilled judge of character and interviewer. Typically the successful prospective job candidate, having just spent the day visiting HP, would gain a final interview with Walt. There they were met with Mr. Benedetto's calm "Colomboesque" interviewing technique. Walt would relax the candidate asking a few simple questions that had nothing to do with technology, computing, or engineering while he developed insight to who sought employment at the company he loved. His style inevitably leads the candidate to thinking the job was theirs. Finally, when the candidate was confident they had cleared the last hurdle, Walt would throw in one final question "You must be good at math. Tell me, what percent is three of seventeen?"
Surviving is his loving wife Alice Benedetto of Upper Saddle River, his children, Jack and wife Suzi Campbell of Clallam Bay, Washington, Donna of Upper Saddle River, Robert and his wife Pamela of Eliot, Maine, and Daniel of Saratoga Springs, NY. Also surviving are his beloved eight grandchildren, Annika, Lars, Corey, Sierra and her husband David Kiely, Joseph, Lily, Mia and Lucy and four great grandchildren, Addison, Makenna, Sloane, and Weston.
A private burial was held Wednesday. A Memorial Mass will be held at Church of the Presentation, 271 W. Saddle River Rd. Upper Saddle River, NJ on Saturday April 5, 2014 at 11:30 am. A celebratory memorial will follow at Savini's Italian Restaurant at 168 West Crescent Ave, Allendale, NJ 07401.
In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Walter A. Benedetto family may be sent to the Upper Saddle River Volunteer Ambulance Corp, 378