A public memorial is planned for Harold H. Benjamin, Ph.D. — a Marina del Rey resident and founder of The Wellness Community — at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 18th, at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., in the Sepulveda Pass area.

Benjamin died Thursday, December 23rd. He was 80 years old.

The Wellness Community is an international nonprofit organization designed to provide free support, education and hope for people affected by cancer.

Benjamin, an internationally recognized authority on the psychosocial and emotional aspects of the fight for recovery from cancer, died from pulmonary fibrosis complications.

Since 1972, Benjamin had dedicated his life to helping people with cancer fight for recovery.

In 1980 he conceived the Patient Active Concept, which states that “People with cancer who participate in their fight for recovery along with their health care team, rather than acting as hopeless, helpless, passive victims of the illness, will improve the quality of their lives and may enhance the possibility of their recovery.”

Armed with this concept, Benjamin retired from the practice of law and founded The Wellness Community to provide his Patient Active Concept, without charge, to as many cancer patients as possible.

Today, The Wellness Community has 22 centers across the United States and two centers abroad — in Tokyo and Tel Aviv.

Benjamin is survived by his wife, Harriet of Marina del Rey; daughters, Ann and Lauren; a grandson, Jordan Garrett and his wife Pearl; great-granddaughter, Ana; and great-grandson, Benjamin.

Benjamin’s family requests that any donations be made to the Harold and Harriet Benjamin Building Fund, The Wellness Community-West Los Angeles, 2716 Ocean Park Blvd. #1040, Santa Monica 90405.