Cover photo for Jesus "Jesse" Rene Benitez Jr., MD FACP's Obituary
Jesus "Jesse" Rene Benitez Jr., MD FACP Profile Photo
1959 Jesus 2022

Jesus "Jesse" Rene Benitez Jr., MD FACP

October 18, 1959 — October 19, 2022

Amarillo

Jesus “Jesse” Rene Benitez Jr., MD, FACP, of Amarillo, Texas passed away on October 19, 2022.

Public viewing will be from 12-4:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia St. Prayer service will be at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church, 4500 W. Hills Trail. Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, October 27, 2022 at the church. Inurnment will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, October 27, 2022 in Llano Cemetery.

Jesse was born on October 18, 1959 in Mercedes, Texas to Jesus Rene Sr. and Maria Elva (Elizondo) Benitez. He attended elementary and middle school in Weslaco, Texas, and graduated from Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in 1978.  During high school, Rene worked at the family business, El Capitan Theater in Pharr, Texas. He worked the box office, concession stand, and was a projectionist.

A few credits short of completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Jesse was accepted into the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas.  Upon graduation in 1986 he matched with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Internal Medicine residency program in Amarillo. He served as Chief resident from 1988-1989.  During these years, a young nurse from South Dakota caught his eye on the 5th floor of what was then called High Plains Baptist Hospital (currently BSA).  Jesse and Judy (Dawson) were married on April 1, 1989, at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church.

Dr. B. was a staff physician at the J.O. Wyatt Community Health Center from 1997 – 2003.  During that time, he also “moonlighted” in the emergency room at the Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center. He decided that caring for our nation’s veterans was his true calling and decided to join the VA full time. He served as Chief of Primary Care for many years, all the while acting as clinical instructor for Texas Tech Department of Internal Medicine. Jesse loved to teach the medical students and residents.  He was a true life-long learner.  He spent countless hours studying his MKSAP books, and proudly became board certified in Internal Medicine in 1998 and recertified in 2016.  Perhaps one of his proudest achievements was becoming a fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2021.  ACP Fellows are distinguished doctors dedicated to Internal Medicine.

In March of 2011, Jesse was stuck with a catastrophic illness known as sepsis, and he also battled a blood clotting disorder known as DIC.  After over 100 days in the hospital and several surgeries, he came home ready to lead a full and meaningful life.  Despite losing both of his hands, both of his feet and his kidneys, he was determined to go back to work.  After two years of home dialysis, he was blessed with the gift of a kidney transplant.  He learned how to drive again, and even passed the parallel parking part of the driving test! His spirit was truly indomitable.

Dr. B was a member of St. Hyacinth Catholic Church, and often served as a Lector. He was a 1st degree member of the Knights of Columbus, council 16205. He enjoyed being the Cubmaster of Pack 21 St. Mary’s from 2007-2011. He then became the troop physician for Boy Scout troop 1221, and always enjoyed going to summer camp.

Grateful for having shared his remarkable life are his wife of 33 years, Judy, and his sons Javier and Joseph all of Amarillo; his mother, Elva Benitez of Pharr, Texas; his brother Oscar Benitez of Austin, Texas, his brother Rolando (Sandy) of Mission, Texas; his sister Monica of San Antonio, Texas; as well as one niece and four nephews.  Jesse was preceded in death by his father in 2005 and his brother Omar in 2019.

Memorials may be directed to St Hyacinth Catholic Church, 4500 West Hills Trail, Amarillo, TX 79106, or to Enhancing Skills for Life, 501c3, 16111 Park Center Drive, Houston, TX 77059. Enhancing Skills for life is an upper limb loss community that gathers about every three years in Houston to build community through vital peer connections, educational programs, as well as financial support. Jesse was passionate about sharing ways he devised to become more independent. During Covid, he did a zoom presentation entitled “No Hands, No Feet, No Problem” to a group in Japan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jesus "Jesse" Rene Benitez Jr., MD FACP, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing Hours

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

12:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Prayer Service

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)

St. Hyacinth's Catholic Church

4500 West Hills Trail, Amarillo, TX 79106

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Mass

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Hyacinth Catholic Church

4500 West Hills Trail, Amarillo, TX 79106

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Inurnment

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 8

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree