Robert E. Benoit Ph.D.
Robert E. Benoit, Ph.D.

November 18, 2020

Robert E. "Bob" Benoit, of Blacksburg, Va., 86, passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from complications of diabetes. Bob was born in Enosburg Falls, Vermont to the late Harland and Elma Myott Benoit and raised on the family dairy farm. The first in his family to go to college, he earned his B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Vermont. After active duty in the Army, he earned an MS and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Rutgers University.

Bob joined the faculty of the Virginia Tech Biology Department in the Microbiology section, teaching thousands of students over 40 years. He enjoyed advising the Lambda Chi fraternity. Even in retirement, he was an active member of the American Society of Microbiology. He conducted research in Antarctica and Alaska, but teaching was his passion. He taught Biomedical Ethics until just before his death.

Bob was active in Rotary and served as a Montgomery-Floyd Library trustee. He loved music, especially Opera, and sang in the Blacksburg Masterchorale. For 27 years, he read comics for the blind. He loved a competitive game of handball, and once ran the Richmond Marathon in 3 hours and 21 minutes.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean; his children, Beth Benoit of Chelmsford, Mass., Paul Benoit of Lyman, N.H., and Denise Benoit-Turner of Middletown, Md.; his grandchildren, Ethan, John Robert, Bryce, David, and James; his brothers, Paul of East Hartford, Conn. and Larry of Enosburg Falls, Vt., and nieces, Betsy, Nickelle, Carmen, and Megan.

A celebration of life will happen post-pandemic. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial donation to the Blacksburg Masterchorale (BMC P.O. Box 11852 Blacksburg, VA 24060) or to the Robert E and Jean L Benoit Scholarship (c/o University of Vermont Foundation, 411 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401). Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.

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Published by Roanoke Times on Nov. 29, 2020.
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Funeral services provided by:
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3 Entries
I knew Bob through his love for singing as a member of the Blacksburg Master Chorale and the Opera Roanoke Chorus. His humor, endearing smile and genuine kindness were the hallmarks of this gracious, intelligent gentleman and dedicated teacher. May he Rest In Peace knowing that he will be remembered for having lived an exemplary life, truly filled with the "milk of human kindness."
Craig Fields
December 6, 2020
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the passing of Dr. Benoit. He will be missed by many. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Benoit as a student support specialist in the biology department. He was very passionate about teaching and advising. He was quite a character and kept Shirly Hale and me laughing. I loved hearing the stories about his time in Vermont and about his family.
Susan Haymore
December 3, 2020
Thanks Doc for all the leadership, advice and support to all of the SOTs and Lambda Chi´s. You were much loved and respected by all. Condolences to your loved ones. RIP Cro
Gene Thayer
December 1, 2020