BL Acknowledgement

BL Acknowledgement: Deane Judd was a man of honor and truth

BenitoLink Board of Directors recount his impact on the news organization and community.

On behalf of the BenitoLink Board of Directors, I write to tell you of the passing of Deane Judd, a man dear to us all. Deane served on the BenitoLink board the last years of his long and productive life, this after volunteering for many years before as Airport Advisory Commissioner for the Hollister Municipal Airport and the San Benito County Civil Grand Jury.

In fact, it was my experience with Deane on the Grand Jury that led me to encourage him to join our board, for I came to know this straight-talking man of few words would personify our ethical standards and help us build out a robust community news site.

At the time of the family’s announcement, board colleagues who worked with Deane rushed me messages filled with their sentiments and memories. Lois Locci wrote, “I remember the day we ‘invited’ Deane to take on the chairmanship of the Technology Committee that hadn’t been formed yet. Ever the trooper, he said he’d see what he could do to help, then pressed into service his life-long engineering résumé to keep BenitoLink’s website humming.” Deane had received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley

Recently retired BenitoLink board treasurer Robert Marden also served with Deane and me on the Civil Grand Jury. He told me, “Deane was a man of honor and truth. He was a major contributor for two Grand Jury terms. When it came to writing our consolidated reports, Deane was the glue that brought those reports together. Then once on the Board of Directors for BenitoLink, he demonstrated the same qualities of honor and truth. I will miss my friend Deane Judd.”

Current board vice chair Raul Ceja added that Deane was always willing to help. Raul reached out to Deane because he wanted to fly around San Benito County to celebrate his birthday. Raul thought who better to ask and found “. . . he was so helpful! Like extremely helpful.” While Deane had retired from flying, he wrote Raul to say, “Anyway, good luck with your search for an aerial tour. Let me know what you decide and how it goes. In any event, have a Happy 32nd Birthday!”

BenitoLink executive director Leslie David was especially grateful for Deane’s help in the “back office” of the website, for he had an incredible degree of patience and perseverance to solve problems. He tinkered, fixing the tiny details in a way few can tolerate. Leslie noted his old-fashioned and frugal perspective which led her to admit, “I got a kick out of him.”

Now, as I speak for myself, I want you to know Deane was a man of few words, but when he spoke, we listened. He had a way of making sense of things. After he left the board, I checked on him regularly, with a cheery “How are you!” He always responded with, “Still standing!”

Lucky for me, I developed a special relationship with Deane; he was a mentor, a colleague, but most of all, a friend. His memories fill me with joy, but I am broken learning of his passing. Deane, you are still standing in our hearts.


Rohit Sharma

Rohit joined the BenitoLink team in 2015, serving as Board President since 2016, the year BenitoLink was incorporated as a 501c(3).  It was an opportunity of a lifetime, building upon what the founders envisioned–a hyperlocal news and information website serving San Benito County.  What drives Rohit to serve is the dedication and passion of our team to deliver the kind of stories that matter to our county. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCSB and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Global Management.  As a real estate broker,  he manages  investments in a  four county region.  As a second-generation immigrant and having lived all over the globe, he has called San Benito County home since 1996.