Timothy C. Benetti
May 8, 1964 – January 11, 2023
On January 11, 2023, Timothy C. Benetti, 58, passed away in his sleep with his cat Joey at his side, an enormous loss for all those fortunate enough to know him.
Tim was born in San Francisco on May 8, 1964, to Irene and Ernie Benetti. In 1974, Irene remarried, and Raymond DeVita became a devoted father to Tim and his brother David.
When he was three years old, Tim began his lifelong love affair with baseball. His childhood was spent playing ball and watching heroes like Willie Mays and McCovey chase glory at Candlestick Park. Tim was himself a great baseball player, also excelling at other sports. Tim loved his San Francisco teams: the Giants, 49ers, and Warriors.
Tim grew up in the Portola District, with McLaren Park as his backyard playground. He attended Corpus Christi Grammar School, Riordan High School, and Santa Clara University. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in the same class as Vice President Kamala Harris. Tim practiced law briefly at McCutchen.
After his first year of law school, Tim was in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. In the face of what’d be insurmountable adversity for most, Tim met the ensuing lifelong challenges with grace and strength that were inspiring to witness. His resilience and unwillingness to yield to limitations made him outlast all predictions for his life’s scope and length.
Tim and his brother Dave created and became owners of the Bottom of the Hill, a world-renowned music venue in Potrero Hill, in 1991. Tim remained a partner with Kathleen Owen, Ramona Downey, and Lynn Schwarz, until his death.
Tim was a dedicated public servant. He was a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney from 2004 to 2006. He was a legal advisor for the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System from 2006 to 2019. He served on the San Francisco Entertainment Commission from 2010 to 2014, where he fiercely advocated for protection of the City’s live music scene, a job that combined his loves: the law, his venue, and San Francisco’s wider music ecosystem.
Tim was different things to different people, with an easy, good-natured charm. He was equally at home with old-school Italians, tough bikers, PC indie rockers, City Hall elites, and the working-class people that he crossed paths with daily. He had an understated confidence; there was always a hint of a laugh in his voice when he spoke. He was a gifted communicator, both in verbal storytelling and the written word. Tim was a dedicated and generous friend to many, offering guidance and support, not asking anything in return. He was a good son and a pillar of strength to his mother.
Tim will be missed by many, in San Francisco and in the Sacramento region, where he later moved. He’s predeceased by his father Ernie and stepdad Ray – both of whom he adored – and survived by his mother Irene, sister Anna Lisa, beloved cat Joey, and countless friends.
A funeral mass will take place at 10 a.m. on March 7, 2023, at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, 459 Somerset Street, San Francisco. A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on April 16, 2023, at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th Street. All are welcome to attend both events.