Jeanne Quint Benoliel, PhD, RN, FAAN was born in National City, California. She gradu­ated from San Diego High School, and studied Pre-Nursing at San Diego State College. She gradu­ated from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in San Francisco, was a nurse in the United States Army Nurse Corp, received her B.S. from Oregon State Univer­sity in Corvallis, her M.S. and postmas­ters study in Physi­ology and Statis­tics from the Univer­sity of California in Los Angeles, and received her DNSc from the Univer­sity of California, San Francisco. Dr. Benoliel began her work at the Univer­sity of Washington after completing her doctoral educa­tion at the Univer­sity of California, San Francisco. Much of her research focused on how one learns to live with chronic illness and what it is like to live with a terminal illness. She studied the concept of identity in the face of impending death, the conspiracy of silence that often surrounds the dying patient, and how illness affects the caregiver.

In 1981 she devel­oped a graduate program in Oncology Transi­tion Services.” She has worked with local, national and inter­na­tional groups in thana­tology and care of the dying to intro­duce hospice models. She provided consul­ta­tion on research to devel­oping nursing programs in Israel and Japan in the 1970’s as well as in Sweden and Norway.

Jeanne has received numerous awards for her service, teaching and research. She received honorary degrees from the Univer­sity of San Diego, Univer­sity of Pennsyl­vania, and Yale. She was an active member in ANA and AAN, and served on several commit­tees and commis­sions. She was bestowed, by the American Academy of Nursing, the title of Living Legend.”

Her commit­ment to caring for the dying began with an early study with Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss in which she assessed the way in which dying patients were cared for. She continued this ground-breaking research in Washington State studying commu­ni­ca­tion patterns and behav­iors that surround termi­nally ill patients in several local hospi­tals. She found that there was a flurry of invasive activ­i­ties, even in the face of futility. As result of these studies, Jeanne was able to document that care for the dying was at worst destroying the quality of life’s last moments, and at best it was misdi­rected and expen­sive. She worked with local, national and inter­na­tional groups in thana­tology and care of the dying to intro­duce hospice models here. In addition, she devel­oped a graduate program in transi­tion services, and influ­en­tial masters program that educated hundreds of nurses in caring for people at the end of life.

She mentored faculty as well as students, igniting Dr. Ruth McCorkle’s work in cancer care and Dr. Fran Lewis’ work with nursing families who have a member with cancer, and David Kahn’s concep­tu­al­iza­tion of suffering. Most, if not all, of the regional nurse leaders in end of life care in Washington State have either studied under Jeanne, or learned from her through her writings, courses, presen­ta­tions and numerous workshops she gave throughout her career.

Jeanne was the first regis­tered nurse to be presi­dent of the Inter­na­tional Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereave­ment. She helped to create and organize a number of inter­na­tional thana­tology organi­za­tions and is recog­nized as one of the founders in the field of pallia­tive and hospice care.

To say that Jeanne Quint Benoliel is a living legend” is an under­state­ment. She has trans­formed the field of care for dying people. She was the first to bring the family into care for the dying. Her research, joined with Ruth McCorkel’s, continued to focus on system distress, enforced social depen­dency, and health outcomes for patients and the families. Taken together, Jean’s contri­bu­tions have helped shape the field of pallia­tive care and hospice care. She has made legendary contri­bu­tions to nursing that bring honor to the discipline.