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First RTPI President Has Died at Age 93

Posted on Mar 6, 2015

Paul A. Benke was born in May of 1921 and died peacefully at home in Falconer on Wednesday (March 4, 2015) at the age of 93. In 1984, while President of Jamestown Community College, Paul served as the first President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. Along with Lorimer Moe, Noble Proctor, and many other of Roger’s trusted friends, Paul was able to guide the formation and incorporation of RTPI in Jamestown, NY. While other institutions were interested in the papers and archives of Roger Tory Peterson, Paul was able to make the case for the Institute’s establishment in Roger’s hometown, and oversaw the construction of its headquarters in a building designed by Robert A.M. Stern. After nearly a decade of planning, it was a great day when, in August of 1993, Roger said at the dedication ceremony that it was “the greatest moment in my life”. Paul is pictured here, on the right, receiving the first ‘President Emeritus’ award from JCC from then board chair Lance Spicer. To read about Paul’s life and family, see the obituary in the Jamestown Post-Journal here: http://post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/662518/Paul-A–Benke.html?nav=5009