Chauncey Roy Benedict

chauncey benedict

June 10, 1930 ~ October 11, 2021

Born in: Lake Placid, New York
Resided in: College Station, Texas

Chauncey Roy Benedict of College Station, Texas, died Monday, October 11, 2021 at the age of 91.
Chauncey was born June 10, 1930 in Lake Placid, New York, to Chauncey Henry Benedict and Ruth Claire Pratt Benedict. Chauncey, who went by Chan, was the seventh of eight children and the youngest son. He graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1948 and attended Cornell University, earning a B.S. in 1954, and a commission in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving from 1954 to 1961, and honorably discharged at the rank of Captain. At Cornell he completed his M.S. in 1956 and in 1960, he received his Ph.D. from Purdue University.

At Lake Placid High School, Chan participated in all the sports programs and was an outstanding member of the track team. Chan had jobs in Lake Placid as soon as he was old enough and one of his favorites was caddying at the Lake Placid Club golf course where he began his lifelong love of the sport, at which he excelled and enjoyed many years of playing with friends and colleagues, especially at A&M.

At Cornell, Chan met Sylvia Richards and they were married on August 28, 1954 at Sage Chapel on the Cornell campus. He fondly remembered the Cornell years he shared with Sylvia and spoke of lectures and musical performances they attended together on campus.

Chauncey’s career included a post-doctoral position at Dartmouth University Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, a year at Brookhaven National Labs on Long Island, and research and teaching at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. In 1966, he joined the USDA at Texas A&M University and later began his TAMU faculty research and teaching position. His research centered on cotton for many years and later he studied tamoxifen from yew which became important in cancer treatment. He spent many years on the study of a marine grass, called turtle grass, found along the Gulf Coast, often traveling to Port Aransas to collect specimens. These research trips inspired many family vacations to that area and an enduring love of the Gulf Coast in both his daughters and their families. Chan’s research years finally centered on the latex-producing guayule plant. Chauncey retired from the Department of Biochemistry in 1999.

Chan and Sylvia were always animal lovers and raised numerous dogs, cats, and horses over the years, instilling a love of all animals in their daughters from a young age. In the retirement years, they especially enjoyed having horses on their property and spent many hours caring for them. Chan and Sylvia were long-standing members of A&M Methodist Church and Chan particularly enjoyed his service on various committees over the years and teaching classes for adults and teens.

Chauncey is preceded in death by his parents and all but one of his siblings, his wife of 66 years, Sylvia Richards Benedict, and his granddaughter, Lydia Claire Adams. He is survived by his daughters, Sarah Adams (Sjoerd Adams) of College Station, Texas and

Wendy Benedict (Dane Schneider) of Houston, Texas and his grandchildren, Meredith Adams of Kew Gardens, New York, Philip Adams, of San Antonio, Texas, and Caroline Adams, of Bryan, Texas. He is also survived by his sister, Mildred Benedict Hamilton of Boca Raton, Florida, his sister-in-law, Helen Benedict of Pensacola, Florida and numerous nieces and nephews.

Callaway Jones Funeral and Cremation Center provided cremation and interment at the College Station Cemetery and a private family gathering was held.

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  1. My first job outside of helping in a family business was working for Dr. Benedict in his lab. I was a freshman at A&M and had picked Finance as a major. Dr Benedict was kind and patient showing me his love for plants and science. After my freshman year, I switched to Floriculture due to this work.I have such fond memories of those years in the lab. My sympathy to his family on his passing and gratitude to him for early help in my career.

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