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Man Celebrates 70 Years As Church Organist

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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ST. CHARLES, Minn. (AP) – Church organist Donald Benedett has outlasted “at least a dozen pastors” and is on his third organ at his congregation near St. Charles.

Members at Berea Moravian Church celebrated Benedett’s remarkable 70 years as organist on Sunday. The 86-year-old Benedett learned how to play from his mother, who was also the organist at Berea. He began playing the piano for Sunday school at age 12 and inherited the organ bench from his mother in 1941 when he was 16 years old.

The Winona Daily News says Benedett has played for thousands of weddings, funerals and Sunday services. And he says he doesn’t plan to give it up anytime soon.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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