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Community grieves for woman 'warrior'.

Byline: Rebecca Nolan The Register-Guard

Tevina Benedict touched the lives of many people in her 54 years.

She advocated for the homeless, the mentally ill, the uninsured. She lobbied the state Legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.

The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions:
, sat on committees and demonstrated for peace and against social injustice Social Injustice is a concept relating to the perceived unfairness or injustice of a society in its divisions of rewards and burdens. The concept is distinct from those of justice in law, which may or may not be considered moral in practice. .

"She cared very deeply about people - individual people as well as society as a whole," her husband, David Barta, said. "She was a real warrior about things she believed in."

Now, her sudden death is reverberating re·ver·ber·ate  
v. re·ver·ber·at·ed, re·ver·ber·at·ing, re·ver·ber·ates

1. To resound in a succession of echoes; reecho.

 through the communities she fought for.

Benedict died May 7 when she fell to the bottom of a rocky cliff about a half-mile from the Strawberry Hill Strawberry Hill is the name of several places:
  • Strawberry Hill, London
  • Strawberry Hill (Kansas City, Kansas)
  • Strawberry Hill, San Francisco
 Wayside Lane viewing area off Highway 101.

She had gone for a hike while waiting for her daughter to return from a tide pool tide pool
See tidal pool.

tide pool

See tidal pool.
 viewing expedition with members of a University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities.  environmental history class. Her daughter called for help when Benedict did not return to the family's truck.

Lane County deputies and search and rescue crews found her body the next morning. Investigators have said the fall appears accidental.

Barta, director of telecommunications at the UO, said he's been overwhelmed by the number of calls and condolences that have flooded into the family's Eugene home as word of Benedict's death spread.

A celebration of life is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. May 28 at Dorris Ranch Living History Farm in Springfield. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

"We're all very saddened that she's left us," said Mary Ann Holser, a community activist who knew Benedict well. "She was a hard worker in the trenches of social justice."

Benedict served on the executive committee of the Community Health Benefits Workgroup of Lane County, which formed in 2003 during the sale of McKenzie-Willamette Hospital to Triad, said Tom Holser, a work group member.

She spent a lot of her time trying to help the most vulnerable, including the mentally ill.

"Health care was her passion," said Ellen Pinney, executive director of the Oregon Health Action Campaign. "Unlike many people, I think Tevina was not afraid to ask the hard questions, and she was not afraid to make sure that the agreement we were coming to was really going to work best for the people we were serving."

Benedict also was involved with the Eugene Springfield Solidarity Network/Jobs with Justice and served on the advisory committee for Lane County Mental Health as well as the Eugene Human Rights Commission's committee on human rights and mental health.

Benedict's passion was personal. Though she was never properly diagnosed, she felt she had attention deficit disorder attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD or ADHD)
 formerly hyperactivity

Behavioral syndrome in children, whose major symptoms are inattention and distractibility, restlessness, inability to sit still, and difficulty concentrating on one thing for any
 or bipolar disorder bipolar disorder, formerly manic-depressive disorder or manic-depression, severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depression. , her husband said. "She's fought them all her life and managed to function through depression and obsession," Barta said.

Benedict led an unorthodox life from an early age. Her father, Russell Benedict, was the son of wealthy parents, but he left that life in search of adventure, first as a merchant marine, later as a miner and prospector, and finally as an activist in Washington, D.C. He founded an organization called Waste Not, Want Not, which retrieved discarded food from supermarkets and distributed it to those in need.

Russell Benedict came to Eugene after men broke into his food warehouse and nearly beat him to death. His daughter had dedicated much of her time since then to getting him housing and care, Barta said.

Russell Benedict said he will remember his daughter's courage as a child, including a harrowing trip in which the two of them navigated down a mountain after dusk. When she was 8, Tevina Benedict played the role of impromptu midwife to a younger sister, who was born prematurely in a mining company office, he said.

Tevina Benedict went to college in New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). , where she helped start a low-income clinic and worked on an alternative newspaper with Barta. The couple lived in Chicago, Grand Junction Grand Junction, city (1990 pop. 29,034), seat of Mesa co., W Colo., at the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado rivers; inc. 1891. The shipping and processing center of a large ranch and irrigated farm region, it also serves the area's uranium, oil shale, gas, and , Colo., and Portland before moving to Eugene in 1990.

She earned her master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.

Noun 1.
 in public health from the UO in 1994.


Tevina Benedict fell to her death May 7. In this photo, she poses with her father, Russell Benedict.
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Title Annotation:General News; Since Tevina Benedict's sudden death, many recall her countless efforts for social justice
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 16, 2005
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