Elizabeth Mary Benson

Birth Date: 
Saturday, July 25, 1925
Date of Passing: 
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Elizabeth Mary (Baker) Benson, age 91, of Wooster, Ohio passed away on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at The Atrium at Anna Maria in Aurora, Ohio.  At her passing she was attended by her three children, and two daughters-in-law.  Liz was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925 to Leigh K., Jr. and Helen M. (Shackleton) Baker.  She was the younger sister of Leigh K. Baker, III, and graduated from East High School in 1943.  During her youth, she was involved in various church and school activities.  She was a great fan of the Cleveland Indians, often riding the streetcar to watch them play at League Park.  And she had fond memories of summers spent with her brother, Leigh, visiting relatives at the family farmstead in Aurora.   

Liz grew up in a single-parent home, her father having died when she was very young.  As a consequence, the family was close-knit and lived a frugal existence.  For a year after high school she worked to save money for college, enrolling at the College of Wooster in 1944.  She graduated in 1948 with a BA in biology.  Of equal significance, it was at the college that she met and soon after married her college sweetheart, R. Rhoe Benson, who had returned to the campus after his military service to complete his degree.  They were married at the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland on June 26, 1948, and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary a short time before Rhoe passed away in 2013.  A devoted wife to Rhoe, Liz was also a devoted mother to their three children, Susan E. Collins (Mac) of Freeport, Maine; Richard R. Benson, Jr. (Tina) of Brevard, North Carolina; and David L. Benson (Cindy) of Aurora, Ohio.  And she took great pride and joy in their eight grandchildren, Andrew and Christopher Collins; Sarah, Joshua, Abigail and Claire Benson; and Ian and Nathaniel Benson.

Like many post-war brides Liz was a stay-at-home mother when her children were young.  But in 1968 she returned to the workforce, where she worked principally in the technical services department at the College of Wooster library.  She retired in 1992 after nearly twenty-five years of service.  She was very proud of the students with whom she worked over that span, and she rarely missed commencement exercises, even staying in touch with former student assistants.

Liz was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wooster, where she served as a deacon, a member of the bell choir, and alongside Rhoe as a member of the choir.  She was also active in the civic and social life of the community.  As young parents in Wooster, Liz and Rhoe formed many lasting friendships as members of the Wooster 20-30 Club.  She was a member and president of the Junior Women’s Guild, later known as the Wooster Women’s Guild, which supported programs for the benefit of senior citizens in Wooster.  In that regard, Liz was instrumental in supporting the Lewis Senior Center, which was later incorporated into the Wooster Community Center.  She was also a member of the Quota Club of Wooster, the PEO Sisterhood chapter in Wooster, and the AAUW.  In retirement, she and Rhoe worked a weekly shift together at People-To-People Ministries, an ecumenical ministry about which both were passionate in their support.  And they were proud members of the Wayne County Historical Society.

Because of Rhoe’s love of golf Liz was inspired to take up the game, and in her prime she became a player of some accomplishment on the local scene, earning league championships and individual trophies along the way.  Of course, her favorite playing partner was her husband, Rhoe.  In retirement, the two played together at the College of Wooster golf course at least twice a week.  Liz and Rhoe also shared a passion for the College of Wooster Fighting Scot men’s basketball program.  They held season tickets for more than twenty-five years and rarely missed a home game.  Wearing black and gold, they were easy to spot in their usual seats eleven rows behind the home team bench.

Liz is survived by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She had the opportunity to do many things in life for the benefit of others, but to those most important to her she was a best friend, a guiding hand, a comforting presence, a nurturing influence – loving and loved.  She will be missed, but we are comforted in knowing that she is once again reunited with her sweetheart.

A Service of Remembrance for Liz will be held on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Avenue in Wooster. In lieu of flowers, donations to People-to-People Ministries of Wooster or Crossroads Hospice of Ohio would be greatly appreciated.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

Memorial Contributions: 

People-to-People Ministries of Wooster or Crossroads Hospice of Ohio

Visitation: 

The family will greet friends following the service

Service: 

Saturday, July 22, 2107 at 3:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster

Condolences

Just read the obit of your mother. What a truly remarkable story if her life and all she did. That generation was so active and involved and your mother was an example of that

What a great pleasure to have known Liz and Rhoe. I so enjoyed the times I spent visiting and helping them. They are happily together again.Thinking of all your family.

Sincere sympathy in the passing of Liz. so enjjoyed visiting with Liz and Rhoe when I made my summer trips to Wooster. Lovely people. I miss them both. Ollie Foss Christmyer

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