Stocktonian of the Year

Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. Announced as the 67th Stocktonian of the Year

It is with great pleasure the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce and Central Valley Association of Realtors announce that Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. has been selected as the 67th Stocktonian of the Year.  Mr. Reddish will be the first posthumous honoree and the 2nd African American to receive the award. 

On Wednesday, February 10th past Stocktonians of the Year, members of the Stocktonian of the Year Selection Committee and some community members surprised Benjamin’s wife Janie and son B. Joe Reddish III with the news on a Zoom call. 

Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. Passed away at the age of 85 on December 5, 2020.  During his life he was well known in the Stockton community for his leadership, volunteerism and service.  He was a great civic leader and had a big influence on Stockton’s history.   

Benjamin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from South Carolina State University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of the Pacific.  Benjamin served in the US Army as a Laboratory Technician. After his service to our country, he returned to Stockton and started his 43 year career with Stockton United School District as a counselor and educator. 

During his life Benjamin was very involved with many community organizations. Here is a list of just some of his civic and community activities: 

  • Esquire Club Inc. of Stockton – Founding Member 
  • Kiwanis Club of Stockton – Past President 
  • Kiwanis Key Club – Coach & Mentor 
  • People to People International – Past President 
  • Stockton Sister Cities Association – Past President 
  • Association of Filipino Americans in Education – Board Member/Historian 
  • University of the Pacific’s Community Involvement Program (CIP) 
  • Stockton Symphony Association – Board Member 
  • California School Counseling Association (CSCA) – Past President 
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Nu Beta Lambda Chapter – Past President 
  • Phi Delta Kappa Internation, UOP Chapter – Past President 
  • Human Rights Action Unit, CPGA – Past President 
  • Community Involvement Board, University of the Pacific – Past President 
  • San Joaquin County Historical Society – Board Member 
  • SUSD Black Employees Association 

In 2017 Benjamin was honored with an award from the University of the Pacific Community Involvement Program (CIP) which they named after him, the Benjamin Reddish Community Impact Award.  In 2019 Benjamin was honored by the Pacific Alumni Association with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Volunteer Service. 

Mr. Reddish was an avid photographer and could be found at many local events, often offering his services for free, photographing and sharing his love of photography and the community. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gathering restrictions, the banquet to honor Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. is on hold. We will update this page with more information as the event is scheduled. 

Click Here to watch the Surprise Zoom

The Stocktonian of the Year honors those individuals who embody the spirit of volunteerism and who have conscientiously served and positively impacted the community. The award recognizes those who are making a difference in our City and who do not typically seek or receive recognition for their efforts. Recognizing that individual for their acts of goodness, extensive community involvement and continual devotion to the betterment of Stockton.

Stocktonian of the Year Past Recipients

1954  J. Corbin Shepher, Deceased  

1955  Dean Decarli, Deceased  

1956  Harvey Stull, Deceased  

1957  Fred Bitterman, Deceased  

1958  George Ernest, Deceased  

1959  J. A. Simpson, Deceased  

1960  Jacob Fetzer, Deceased  

1961  Emerson French, Deceased  

1962  Harold Nelson, Deceased  

1963  Jack O’Keefe, Deceased  

1964  Reed Robbins, Deceased  

1965  Fred Schneider, Deceased  

1966  Michael Canlis, Deceased  

1967  B. L. (Bernie) Faunce, Deceased  

1968  Laurence Drivon, Deceased  

1969  Ort Lofthus  

1970  Pearl West, Deceased 

1971  John Cecchini, Deceased  

1972  Eugene Castles, Deceased  

1973  D. David Smith, Deceased 

1974  Warren Atherton, Deceased  

1975  Robert Eberhardt, Deceased  

1976  Stuart Gibbons, Deceased  

1977  Sgt. Pat Noble  

1978  Marian Jacobs, Deceased 

1979  Alex G. SpanosDeceased  

1980  Thelma Stewart, Deceased  

1981  Don Schrader  

1982  Helen Verber Crane  

1983  Bing Wallace, Deceased  

1984  Fritz Grupe  

1985  Leo D’ Or, Deceased  

1986  Dr. Virgil Gianelli, Deceased  

1987  Dr. Joseph B. Serra  

1988  Rudy Croce  

1989  Mimi Eberhardt  

1990  Dr. Guillermo C. Vicuna, Deceased 

1991  Bob Whittington, Deceased  

1992  Floyd Weaver, Deceased  

1993  Don Stewart, Deceased  

1994  Gerri Dunlap, Deceased  

1995  Dennis “Don” Geiger  

1996  Bob Kavanaugh  

1997  Sharon Simas  

1998  Ross Bewley, Deceased  

1999  David Brewer, Deceased  

2000  Ray Baglietto, Deceased  

2001  C. Joseph Crane, Deceased  

2002  Phyllis Grupe  

2003  Edward Coy, Deceased  

2004  Kathleen Lagorio Janssen  

2005  Dino Cortopassi  

2006  Douglass Wilhoit  

2007  Douglass M Eberhardt, Deceased 

2008  David Rea, Deceased  

2009  Robert Foy, Deceased  

2010  John F. Quinn  

2011  Becky Mizener  

2012  Andy Prokop  

2013  Jane Butterfield  

2014  Tim Ulmer 

2015  Mel Corren 

2016 Fred Weibel 

2017 Elizabeth Yip Lee Blanchard 

2018 Duane Isetti 

2019 Beverly Fitch McCarthy

2020 Benjamin J. Reddish Jr. (posthumous)