Betty Jean (Bishop) Benes

Born: Fri., Oct. 8, 1943
Died: Wed., Aug. 15, 2012


6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Aug. 24, 2012
Location: Durden-Hudson Funeral Directors

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., Aug. 25, 2012

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Betty Jean Benes, age 68 of Spotsylvania, Virginia was called home to the Lord 15 August at her home following an extended battle with cancer. She was born 8 October, 1943 in Swainsboro, Georgia to the late Wesley and Maggie Lee Bishop. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Dolly B. Lambert and brother, John Emory Bishop; brothers-in-law, John Lambert and John I. Bell.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas A. Benes, Major General, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired); daughters, Donna (Frank) Mayes of Advance, NC and Kimberly (Terry) Smith of Clemmons, NC;  three grandchildren, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Justin (Deserae) Johnson of Fort Campbell, KY,  Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Josh (Shayna) Johnson of Camp Lejeune, NC,  Nikole Smith of Clemmons, NC;  two great grandchildren,  Hunter and Shilah Johnson of Fort Campbell, KY;  one sister, Nell Bell of Swainsboro, GA.

Betty attended the Blundale “one-room” schoolhouse, graduated from Swainsboro, HS and was active in 4-H Club where she received the H.C. Edenfield Leadership Award. In growing up, she had a great love for music and a desire to glorify the Lord with her beautiful voice, which she continued throughout her life along with her two sisters.

Betty worked as a teacher’s aide and managed her sister’s grocery store in Beaufort, SC. In 1979, she met Tom, a Marine Corps fighter pilot stationed in Beaufort, they married and lived the adventure of a thirty-five year military career that took them to Yuma, AZ, Quantico, VA, El Toro, CA, Washington DC, Naples, Italy and Southern Europe. As a military spouse, she mentored and taught classes for the Marine Corps’ Family Support Programs. Betty was awarded a Distinguished Spouse Service Award by the Commandant of the Marine Corps for her role in leading the Commander’s and Sergeant Major’s Spouse Workshops in Quantico, VA.

After her husband’s retirement from the Marine Corps in 2009, the couple maintained a vacation home in the mountains of North Carolina at Prather’s creek, near Sparta, where they joined the Marine Corps League and served the local community. Betty was a loving mother who cared deeply for her entire family. She also loved Angels, crafts, flowers and the animals that frequent the areas around their homes and was an active member of Spotswood Baptist Church in Spotsylvania. She lived her life fully and in spite of her illness stayed active throughout.

Visitation is planned for Friday, 24 Aug 6-8 pm at Durden-Hudson Funeral Home (478-237-2131) and services for Saturday, 25 August, 11 am at Blundale Baptist Church in Swainsboro, GA.  Memorial contributions may be made to: The Walter Frank Osborne, Jr. Detachment 1298 of the Marine Corps League, PO Box 1298, Sparta, NC 28675.


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