Louise J. Simmons Benson, 91
Louise J. Simmons Benson, 91, a lifelong resident of Chester, Pa., passed away Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Del.
Born June 25, 1921, she was the youngest of 14 children born to the late John Lewis Simmons and Mabel Anna Johnson Simmons. Benson was educated in the Chester Public School System and attended Siloam Sunday School. On Oct. 7, 1945, she married Arnold Benson, and they had four children.
The family united with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church. In 1964, they became members of Siloam United Methodist Church, where she joined the Senior Usher Board and the Usher’s Association, serving as president and secretary for many years. She sang with the fellowship choir, female gospel chorus and chancel choir. She also sang with the No. 2 Choir at the Old Welsh Street Union Church, formerly known as Spencer Memorial Church.
Benson was involved with the United Service Organization (USO), which visited and entertained at hospitals and service centers. During the war, she supervised the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) efforts to make and send clothing overseas. She volunteered for March of Dimes, Easter Seals, Multiple Sclerosis and other charitable organizations. She named and was heavily involved with the Open Door Senior Center, from tending garden to delivering meals and serving in the Advisory Council-At-Large.
Benson was remembered as a pleasant person, willing to do whatever she could to help others. She later became involved with the Roxana Cheer Center in Ocean View, where she befriended Ellen Rayne and was extremely fond of caregiver Catherine Walters. Benson enjoyed crocheting, reading, needlepoint, ceramics and flower gardening.
Benson is survived by two beloved daughters, Valerie Reeves and her husband, Rodney, of Ocean View, with whom she lived, and Veronica Blalock and her husband, Norman, of New Castle; six grandchildren, Tamika A. Robinson of Wilmington, Ennis W. Benson of Marietta, Ga., Erica N. Saunders and her husband, Rodney, of Wilmington, William A. Benson Jr. of Chicago, Ill., Karla M. Reeves of Elkton, Md., and Nakesha M. Love and her husband, Jason, of Los Angeles, Calif.; three nieces, Greta Warrick of Hampton, Va., Linda Wesley of Worton, Md., and Kathryn Simmons of Kennett Square, Pa.; two nephews, Marlin Furness of Lancaster, Pa., and Glen N. Benson of Arlington, Va.; a brother-in-law, Harry Sharp and his wife, Lois, of Chester, Pa.; a sister-in-law, Mary Louise Roberts of Chester, Pa., 12 great-grandchildren; and a host of relatives and friends. She was preceded in death in 2009 by her husband of 63 years, Arnold Benson Sr.; by William A. Benson Sr. in 1993; and by Arnold Benson Jr., who was killed in Vietnam in 1967.
Funeral services were scheduled for Aug. 11, 2012, at Siloam UM Church in Chester, Pa., with interment in Chester Rural Cemetery.