John Albert DeBenedetti, 85, passed away peacefully Thursday, April 29.

He was born in Portland to Joseph and Elva DeBenedetti. He attended Benson High School, class of 1952. Following graduation from the University of Portland, he became an accountant.

He was blessed with a large and loving family and was married to MaryKay DeBenedetti for 58 years. An expert and pioneer in the craft beer making industry, he and MaryKay owned F.H. Steinbart Company, the nation’s oldest home brewing and wine making supply company.

An avid and competitive sailboat racing enthusiast, John’s passion for sailing began at 13 while in the Sea Scouts. Known as Father Lightning, he was a charter member of the Vancouver Lake Sailing Club and fostered an interest in sailing in others. A devout Catholic and member of The Madeleine Parish, John served as president of the parents club, and worked tirelessly as a volunteer in support of Maddy’s Cart to feed the hungry.

He is survived by his wife, MaryKay, five children, five grandchildren, and his sisters, Arlene Harvey and Judy DeBenedetti. He will be greatly missed for his humorous, silly side, and remembered for his love of the Oregon Coast and enjoying a good game of bocci ball. A celebration of his life and sharing of stories is planned for an outdoor location in Portland this summer.