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

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


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.


Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Kristi Lambert Shields
   Posted Sat August 18, 2012
Tom, Donna, Kim and family,
Prayers for comfort for you all. She led a beautiful life full of laughter and positive thoughts. Her zest for life and care for others has always been an inspiration. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Ellen Rowland
   Posted Sat August 18, 2012
So sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours!
Mike & Ellen Rowland
Denny, Alison & Bryson Barrett
Swainsboro, GA

Kelli and Dennis Boniecki
   Posted Sun August 19, 2012
Aunt Betty was and will always be a positive reminder of how life should be lived through all of us. Her funny personality and drive to helping others kept others around her in an uplifted spirit everyday.

Nell, Tom, Donna, Kim and family, she will be missed so much by all of us, but although we wonder about God's Path for those so close to us, he always carries a message in that path for us to follow. How wonderful that he brought her into our lives with so much love and we gave her back to him with so much more.

Love You All,

Kelli and Dennis

Patsy Hooks Kersey
   Posted Sun August 19, 2012
So sorry to hear about Betty. I have known Betty most of my life and we had some fun times together in 4-H club and school. She was such a sweet person and was so kind to everyone. I hate that she had to go through a long battle but we can't predict the future. So glad that she had her family to support her. May God give peace and comfort to all of you at this time and the months and days ahead. Just cherish the memories that all of you made with her and know that she is in a better place. God Bless all of you.

Patsy H Kersey

Teresa Taylor
   Posted Sun August 19, 2012
I am honored to have met Betty when I served as 2nd Vice President of MAOSC years ago. I fondly remember her bubbly personality and I loved to listen to many of her memories as a Marine Corps Spouse. My husband Chris and I extend our deepest condolences to all her family and friends.

Michael and Sherry Campbell
   Posted Sun August 19, 2012
You''re surely going to be missed. May God continue to bless this wonderful family. The world is a much better place because you were here. General Benes please know we are always here for you. You and Mrs. Betty are role models for all to follow. Love you both dearly!!

JJ & Dana Cuff
   Posted Mon August 20, 2012
Our prayers go out to you and your family at this time for your loss of a very special lady. Betty will always be remembered and never forgotten.

Semper Fidelis,
JJ & Dana

Larry Kea
   Posted Mon August 20, 2012
She will be missed by all of her 1962 SHS graduating class. God bless her family.

George and Zoe Trautman
   Posted Wed August 22, 2012
We were so very sad to hear of Betty's passing. Unfortunately, there is never enough time on Earth to spend with those we love so much. May the wonderful memories you have help sustain you through the coming days and know that we hold you in our hearts and prayers. Our deepest sympathy goes out to you, Tom, and to your entire family for the loss of our sweet Betty.

Koula and George Maragkoudakis
   Posted Thu August 23, 2012

We are so sorry to hear about Betty. We had the luck to meet this exceptional lady and we are grateful to have known her. Throughout our stay at Naples we have come to value her friendship, kindness and generous nature. It is with our deepest sympathies that we send our condolences on the death of your dear wife.

Koula and George Maragkoudakis

Rick Schwartz
   Posted Fri August 24, 2012
My thoughts and prayers go out to you and all of your family. Betty was a very special person, I will always remember her great kindness and warmth.
God Bless & Semper Fi,

Fr. Loyola Amalraj
   Posted Fri August 24, 2012
Dear Benes Family,

My heart felt condolences to you as you mourn the loss of your beloved Betty. It seems like God has blessed you so abundantly through life and loss. In bearing her cross trustingly Betty touched you deeply by being so accepting of it reflecting Jesus. May you find peace and calm as you grieve. Blessings.

fr. Loyola Amalraj

Ray and Julie DAmm
   Posted Fri August 31, 2012
We just learned that Miss Betty passed away. Our family sends our deepest heartfelt condolences. Miss Betty touched so many lives with her loving and kind ways. Please know that your entire family is in our prayers and we ask for God''s precious comfort over you Tom as you go through each day.
Julie and Ray Damm