Mary Jane Benson Beem

Birth Date: 
Sunday, October 30, 1921
Date of Passing: 
Monday, August 3, 2020

WOOSTER - Loving mother, grandmother, and friend Mary Jane Benson Beem passed away August 3, 2020 at the age of 98, after a long and joyful life. Mary was born to William Prescot and Mary Jane Johnson Benson on October 30, 1921 and grew up in Washington, D.C. She attended the College of Wooster, graduating in 1943 with a degree in English and political science. She joined the Red Cross during World War II and was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, when she re-met fellow Wooster alum Eugene Beem. They married June 30, 1945 and spent over 60 happy year’s together, living in different parts of the country as Eugene worked as a college professor and corporate economist.

Mary passionately advocated for her community through church and local organizations, especially in Pleasantville, NY where she raised her family and Berea, OH. From her church in Berea she did fundraising and activities for the Garden Valley Neighborhood House in Cleveland. She took additional courses at the New School in NY and taught nursery school for several years in NY.  Moving to Wooster in her nineties, she was a member of P.E.O. chapter AP and First Presbyterian Church.

She is remembered as an incredible hostess, as anyone who attended her events will attest. She was gracious, loving, and generous, with a great sense of humor – and style. She loved to spend time with her children and grandchildren, and famously made space for 16 family members to stay overnight at her home in Berea for the holidays.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husband Eugene Beem, siblings Betty Coleman, Bill, and Herb Benson, son William Beem, daughter Margaret Beem-Miller, and granddaughter Laura Thompson. She is survived by sister Carol Milligan (Mrs. Patrick) of Sidney, OH, daughter Carol (Gary) Thompson of Wooster, daughter Amy Beem Phillips of Ann Arbor, MI, son-in-law Bruce Beem-Miller of Ithaca, NY, grandchildren Andrew (Alyssa), Meredith, & Christopher (Annie) Thompson, Alexandra Beem-Phillips, Micah, Mandy (Josh Bower), and Jeffrey (Dora) Beem-Miller, great-grandchildren Josephine, Evelyn, Davis, Riley, Max, Juliette, and Sophie, and many dear nieces, nephews, and friends of all ages.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in her memory to the College of Wooster Women’s Advisory Board, c/o Cathy Roche, 121 N. Market St, Wooster, OH 44691, noting for scholarship fund.  

Due to the current pandemic situation, a memorial service will be held at a later time.  Her cremains will be placed in the memorial garden at First Presbyterian Church along with her husband Eugene’s.

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

Online condolences may be left for the family at


Memorial Contributions: 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in her memory to the College of Wooster Women’s Advisory Board, c/o Cathy Roche, 121 N. Market St, Wooster, OH 44691, noting for scholarship fund.  


No calling hours


Memorial Service at a later date


Mrs Beem to a loving and generously well lived long live. We share graduations from The College of Wooster. God bless you and your loving family.

Carol and Gary,

We were so very sorry to learn of Carol's mother's passing. She certainly had a very long and interesting life. We're thinking of you and your family at this difficult time of loss.

We were saddened to hear of our dear friend, Mary Jane's, passing. She was indeed a very special lady! We're glad our paths crossed in life and we were able to know her for almost 40 years and create so many wonderful memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family during this time. Sending hugs and much love. We will miss her greatly but are sure she's happy to be with her beloved Gene again.

my thoughts and prayers to all of Mary Jane Been's family. i loved getting to know Mrs.Beem and doing many activities with her when i worked at W.V.H.L. and i loved all of our visits and talks. i will misss visiting with her. She will truly be missed by all who's lives she touched

Carol, I am so sorry to see that your mother passed away. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Karen

I was lucky enough to care for Mary at Westview and she was always such a gift to be around. She was the sweetest lady full of wisdom and grace and I am so honored to have met and cared for such an amazing woman. She always gushed about how great her family was and how many great memories she had. Such a joy to be around, I am so sorry for your loss and I am at ease knowing that she is at peace. Thoughts and prayers to your family and loved ones.

I am one of many "dear friends" of Mary Jane's. We had a special bond of sharing a birthday which developed into a close friendship. I will miss her smile, her stories of family adventures, and her strong faith. We shared many wonderful Garden Valley projects during her years in Berea. Prayers for all the wonderful Beem family whose lives she enriched. May you find peace in knowing that she and Gene are together again.

Add new condolence

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.