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Valley Home News 03-01-23
Winnie Mullins

The morning started with the United States Flag being lowered to half-mast at Valley Home School, a salute to the man who had served his community for over 50 years and lived his entire life in Valley Home. Family and friends said goodbye to Chief Jerry Benedix with an amazing tribute and farewell this past Friday. It was an emotional and very heartfelt service held at Burwood Cemetery. Letters from the Chief’s beloved grandchildren were read, the love each of them felt for this amazing man was truly a legacy that only their precious and much treasured grandpa could give them!

Just as the service was about to get underway, the Chief’s much loved Land Cruiser pulled up right near his final resting place … one could almost hear him say ‘well done; I am proud of each of you’ to his beloved grandchildren. It was a beautiful service. I was struck by the love and devotion on his son Randy’s face; what a legacy to leave to your son.

As the heavens opened up and the rain started to gently sprinkle, the crowd made their way down the road to the Escalon Sportsman’s Club.

What a wonderful celebration of his life. Family and friends were greeted outside the front door by another of the Chief’s favorite rides, the ‘Old Dodge.’ During the afternoon countless stories were shared; the Dodge was remembered very fondly in many of those stories. The Chief must have been smiling down for sure; so many there to celebrate his life. Among them, Kenny and Jeanine Cullum, Judy Duncan, Audrey Rinna, Angel and Rich Willet, Ronnie Benedix, and son Mike and daughter-in-law Michelle; the list is long for those who came to pay their respects and show their love for the Chief. No doubt it was a proud moment for the Chief as his Valley Home firefighters gathered at the back of the room for a group picture. Those in the picture were Kevin Dickens, Bryan Martin, Tim Pace, Chuck Fleischer, Kenny Cullum, Rod Gambini, Jack Parks, Mark Wallerman, and Don Taro.

The afternoon, including the delicious lunch that was prepared with so much love by the Chief’s family and close friends, was highlighted by daughter Cindy calling for a toast. The crowd, with shots of apricot brandy held high, shared a toast to this amazing man, the man who served our Valley Home community for over 50 years. Thank You Chief Benedix! We send our thoughts and our prayers to the Chief’s beloved wife Edwina and to the entire Benedix family.


Please note, a reminder to each of you, we have very important meetings coming up.

March 2, Valley Home School PTC Meeting, 3:15 pm at Valley Home School.

March 9, Fire Board Monthly Meeting (held in Knights Ferry this month, next month in Valley Home) 10am at Knights Ferry Community Hall.

March 14, Valley Home School Board Meeting, 6 pm in the Bonnie Gellerman Multi-Purpose Room, Valley Home School.

April 12, Valley Home MAC Meeting, Stanislaus County presentation on fentanyl crisis. Please come and bring folks with you; this is such an important topic.


Please mark your calendar for Friday, March 24. Our Valley Home Community Park will be holding a delicious spaghetti dinner that will include spaghetti, tossed green salad, and a toasty dinner roll. The dinner will be a drive thru dinner from 2:45 pm (after school) until 6 pm at the park. All money raised goes directly to take care of the park! Let’s keep our little park the heart of Valley Home. Expenses include taxes, insurance, PG&E, sprinkler upkeep and maintenance. Your support is greatly appreciated. Remember, our little park belongs to each one of us! Cost for the dinner will be $15 and each dinner serves one. Please call 209-985-5233 for more information and to order dinners. All dinner orders must be received and paid for by Friday, March 17. Thank you all very, very much!


As always, you may reach me by email at or by telephone at 209-985-5233.

Until next time, “Happy Trails to All!”