John A. Beneduce of Brooklyn, New York died on Thursday, March 26th.
He was born on March 21, 1935 to Angelina D’Esposito and Frank Beneduce in Newark, NJ.
He was raised in Coney Island Brooklyn, NY surrounded by several cousins who lived close by. A big American Italian family of Restaurant owners. His Dad Frank owned a Pizzeria and his Aunt Carrie who owned the famous Carolina`s Restaurant on Mermaid Avenue. John showed an ambition for playing the drums at an incredible young age of about 3 years old. Family members described him hitting sticks on just about everything and anything and it was apparent that he would one day become one of the best drummers around. He always looked up to Buddy Rich and had the same sound in his big band The Souvenir’s Orchestra which he created in his forty’s and led this band for several decades, playing at Weddings and Big Band festivities.
He attended Trade School where he studied architecture. He married Millie Davis on June 24, 1956 and the two of them went on the road to California and Las Vegas with the band, The Leonard Seuss Quartet under the stage name Dick Bennett. Millie was a stage dancer for the band, but became pregnant which cut the tour short. They moved back to Brooklyn, bought a house on East 22nd street and had a daughter, Deborah. Two years later they had a second daughter named Ellen. Even though their tour wasn’t long, our Dad would tell stories about the fun they had while living in Las Vegas.
We both remember our Dad being very adventurous enjoying a weekend hunting in PA with the boys, cooking huge Italian meals on Christmas Eve and made the best baked clams and crabs and spaghetti for about 30 of our relatives. We took lots of road trips to Florida, California and Canada. He loved animals, so of course we always owned a dog and a fond memory was our road trip to Canada where we took our dog Fuzzy as a stow away which became the highlight of the trip. He had a huge sense of humor and would always play fun jokes on us which was inherited from all his cousins growing up. He was definitely a kid at heart.
His livelihood was mainly being a draftsman and was very proud of all the dental offices he designed, he enjoyed watching John Wayne movies, guns and most of all playing the drums. Come Saturday mornings, the banging through the walls would begin at 9am. He gave drum lessons in our basement and one of his students went on to become the famous Carmine Appice of the Vanilla Fudge. To this day they remained good friends.
He was predeceased by his wife Millie’s passing in 1995 and eventually joined the Big band MAS Swing with Marie Stack who became his late life partner, as they both shared a love of music.
John, at the age of 84 would still be able to perform an amazing drum solo to famous jazz favorites by Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Glen Miller.
For all of us, our memories will always include him playing the drums and hearing all the stories he would love to tell over and over again starting off saying “I know you heard this one but let me tell it again!”
He is survived by his loving life partner Marie Stack, his two daughters Debbie Legros and her fiancé` John Duckworth, Ellen Buttacavoli and her husband Frank. His Grandchildren Brett Buttacavoli and his wife Izabela, Ryan Buttacavoli and his wife Hali, Brielle Buttacavoli and her fiancé`Jeff Wardle, Dean Buttacavoli and Chelsea Buttacavoli. He has two great Grandchildren, Julia and Frankie Buttacavoli.
In light of the current health crisis, the family will have a private graveside service at St. Gabriel`s Mausoleum in Marlboro, NJ. A Memorial Service will be held in the future so that all his friends and family can gather together to share their stories and celebrate the life of John Beneduce. Memorial contributions can be made in his honor to Sweetrelief.org Healing Musicians in need.