The Daniel E. Stuntz Memorial Foundation was established in 1985 by a group of friends, amateur mycologists, former students, and colleagues to honor the late Dr. Stuntz, Professor of Mycology, who taught at the University of Washington.
- Provide Financial aid to students of fungal systematics pursuing advanced degrees in the Pacific Northwest
- Provide supplies and equipment for mycological research
- Provide funds for travel to meetings and fieldwork
- Support amateur and professional mycological programs in the Pacific Northwest
- Update, enlarge, and classify the University of Washington mycological herbarium
The mission of the Daniel E. Stuntz Memorial Foundation is to advance mycological research, education, and appreciation for fungi in the Pacific Northwest.
Our vision of the future is one where the general public is aware and appreciative of the essential roles that fungi play in our lives. We see opportunities for learning about fungi as a regular part of curricula at all levels in the school system. Laboratory and field research is well funded and conducted broadly. Herbariums and other collections are valued and protected. We are making good progress toward discovering and cataloguing the wide range of species and understanding their places in our ecosystem. As a foundation, we have contributed to this future vision.
It is with profound regret that we report the death of Patrice Benson, president of the Daniel E. Stuntz Memorial Foundation. Patrice died in her home on July 25, 2012 after a brief illness. She was 59.
Patrice joined the Stuntz Foundation board of directors in 1994 when she asked by the board to serve as recording secretary. She accepted, on the condition that the secretary also be permitted a vote. This began her influence and leadership of the foundation. A few years later, she became the foundation's president and served in that role until her death.
A mainstay of Seattle's Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS) since 1976, Patrice had an unrelenting interest in fungi hunting, identification, and culinary enjoyment. Over the years, she served in almost every position possible in the society-instructor, mycophagy chair, publicity chair, education chair, trustee, vice president, and president for three terms.
Patrice also served as the regional representative to the North American Mushroom Association (NAMA.) In addition to her promotion of PSMS and the Stuntz Foundation , she directed the annual Mushroom Gathering at Breitenbush Hot Springs, in Oregon, an event that draws mushroom lovers from around the nation and world.
Although most remember Patrice for her love of mushrooms and cooking, she was also devoted to numerous non-mushroom activities. Of Polish descent, she was an active participant in Seattle's Polish-American community. A career hematologist, and entrepreneur, in 2005 she founded BenTech Biotechnology Services, a major provider of human blood cells for medical research in Seattle.
She was the 26th member of the Seattle chapter of Les Dames D'Escoffier, a national invitational organization of women leaders in the culinary arts whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. She was an expert gardener, Girl Scout leader, and volunteer for many jobs in support of her family and community. She will be dearly missed.
Patrice is survived by her husband, Dr. Edward Benson, and daughters Katie and Jill, all of Seattle.
Fungus grows slowly
In harmony with the tree
- Patrice Benson 1993
The Daniel E. Stuntz Memorial Foundation along with the Puget Sound Mycological Society has made the initial gift to begin an endowment fund at the University of Washington and the Burke Museum. This fund will support the fungal Herbarium collection and other mycology pursuits connected to the study and acquisition of this collection. Learn more about the UW Endowment on the Donations page.
University of Washington
Forty years of dedication continues into the future