Matthew Benedict

Matthew W. Benedict

Saturday, August 15th, 1992 - Monday, July 1st, 2019
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BENEDICT, Matthew W.

Of Hamburg, NY July 1, 2019. Cherished son of William J. and Anne M. (nee Hertlein) Benedict; loving brother of Kaitlin E. Benedict (Justin Alger), Michael F. Benedict and Elizabeth N. Benedict; dear grandson of Jean (late Joseph) Hertlein and the late Jack and Melanie Benedict; loving companion of Kelly Quinn; also survived by a large loving family and many dear friends. The family will be present to receive friends Friday from 3-8 pm at the (Hamburg Chapel) JOHN J. KACZOR FUNERAL HOME, INC. 5453 Southwestern Blvd. (corner of Rogers Rd., 646-5555). A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Saturday morning at 9:45 at St. Bernadette Church, 5930 S. Abbott Rd., Orchard Park, NY. (Please assemble at the church). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Matthew Benedict's One Last Goal Fund @ The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Online donations can be made via Please share condolences at

**** Please disregard the floral information below and instead consider a memorial donation to Matthew’s One Last Goal Fund listed above. ****
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, July 5th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, July 5th, 2019 3:00pm - 8:00pm
    Hamburg Funeral Home
    5453 Southwestern Blvd.
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Mass

    Saturday, July 6th, 2019 | 9:45am
    Saturday, July 6th, 2019 9:45am
    St. Bernadette Church
    5930 S. Abbott Rd.
    Orchard Park, NY 14127
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Kelly Quinn and Becky, Amanda, Pam & Tanya (Sasi) sent flowers to the family of Matthew W. Benedict.
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Kathleen Zillner Glass

Posted at 01:22am
Bill, Anne and family,
Please accept my most heartfelt condolences on the passing of Matthew. I do wish there were words I could offer you to heal this unimaginable pain. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Joe Gerken

Posted at 11:53am

I wanted to set out a few memories and thoughts about Matthew Benedict. Mr. Benedict took a seminar that I taught this past Spring on two historic Supreme Court justices, Louis Brandeis and Olive Wendell Holmes.

I think, to many law students, Justices Brandeis and Holmes would seem to be “ancient history.” I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged the students in the seminar were, especially Mr. Benedict. He participated in every discussion with enthusiasm and much insight. The ideas we discussed mattered to him. His passion was most pronounced when we discussed a series of very important decisions on free speech and freedom of the press.

Justice Holmes has been called the “Great Dissenter.” During most of the time he was on the bench, the majority of justices were very conservative, and so Holmes was often compelled to submit a minority, or dissenting opinion. Over time, most of the positions he tool in his dissents became the law of the land. Ironically, Mr. Benedict often assumed the role of “Great Dissenter” in our seminar. He frequently staked out a position that was in a distinct minority in the class, and he argued for that position vigorously and intelligently. Needless to say, this led to many lively discussions. In this regard, he was a teacher’s dream.

I am pretty sure Mr. Benedict sincerely held to the principles he proposed in class. However, I sometimes got the impression that he would take a contrarian point of view for the sheer joy of arguing with his colleagues. Even when these debates became heated, it never got personal, in part because his colleagues really liked and respected him and also because he framed his arguments as theoretical matters, not as personal attacks. He had a way of putting out the most controversial opinions with a disarming smile on his face.

In this regard, he really “got” what the academic environment was all about. In the best case, it is a place where anyone could argue for anything, as long as (s)he backed up those ideas logically and factually. A place where, as Justice Holmes so eloquently put it, one need not fear ideas. One need only fear their suppression. Mr. Benedict certainly adhered to this ideal.

Long story short, I came to admire and like Mr. Benedict a great deal because of my experience with him in this class. This I can say with some certainty: Had he not been in this seminar, it would have been a less stimulating, less enjoyable and quieter class.

One thing in particular has puzzled and troubled me these past few days. He had such a zest for life - for the sheer joy of thinking, talking and debating about the things that mattered to him. In this regard, he resembled his hero, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who maintained his joi de vivre right up until his death at age 94. Would that Mr. Benedict had been given such a long life to pursue his passions. I will never forget him.

Joe Gerken, Reference Librarian, University at Buffalo Law Library

Steven Martin

Posted at 12:46pm
My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you deal with this tragic loss.

Erin Killian

Posted at 03:39pm
I attended law school with Matthew. I did not know him well, but every interaction was positive. He was very funny and frequently made our New York Practice class laugh. His little quirks would make everyone smile, such as his love of Taylor Swift or how he would secretly watch football games on his laptop during class with a bag of popcorn on his lap. I remember being annoyed the day he came into class with a giant knit cap with a pompom on it that blocked the entire board (I sat behind him) but looking back it's pretty hilarious. It's incredible that he could make others laugh while struggling so deeply on the inside. I read his mental health awareness blog after his passing and it had a significant impact on me. I wish I had gotten to know him better. I offer my deepest condolences and wish everyone that knew him healing. I hope his loved ones can take comfort in that while he was only with us for a short time, he made a tremendous impact on all of us in promoting mental health awareness and recovery, which is so essential in the legal profession. Love, Erin Killian

Sydney Giacin

Posted at 10:19am
I met Matt when he visited St. Lawrence in early March, and while I only knew him for a few months I felt like I had known him my entire life. From the moment I met him, Matt changed my life for the better in so many ways. It's hard to find the words to convey the tremendous impact that he had on my life and the amount of help and guidance that he gave me during our time as friends. I feel so privileged to have known Matt. His passion and positive energy was so contagious and it truly inspired me as well as anyone else that was lucky enough to cross paths with him. I send prayers and my sincerest condolences to his family and friends during this time. He truly was a gift. Rest in Peace Matt.

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