Benoit, Robert E.

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Robert E Benoit (Bob) of Blacksburg VA, 86, passed away on Nov 18 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 MA, Paul Benoit of Lyman NH, and Denise Benoit-Turner of Middletown MD; his grandchildren Ethan, John Robert, Bryce, David, and James; his brothers Paul of East Hartford CT 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).