Cover photo for Mary J. Benson's Obituary
Mary J. Benson Profile Photo
1930 Mary 2022

Mary J. Benson

May 31, 1930 — April 5, 2022

Mary Jean (nee Minehan) Benson was born May 31, 1930 in West Groton, Massachusetts, to Richard and Helen Minehan.  She was preceded in death by her daughter, Susan Cox, her daughter in-law Beverly Benson, her parents, and siblings Margaret Ryan, Richard Minehan Jr, David Minehan, Ellen Minehan, Patricia Hallet, and Kathleen Cowen.

Mary received her Undergraduate degree in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her Master’s degree from Indiana University.  A retired teacher, Mary spent the last 30 years of her career teaching English at George Washington High School in Indianapolis.  Although English was the focus of her formal teaching career, she also taught French, was a swimming instructor, and was a high school girls’ basketball coach.  In 1983, Mary was honored as the Indiana Council of Teachers of English's Hoosier Teacher of the Year.

After she retired from teaching in 1990, Mary devoted her time to volunteering in community organizations, including Past president of Decatur Civic Council, Hendricks College Network, Leadership Hendricks County, Indiana Library Federation, Hendricks County Community Foundation, Meals on Wheels, and Faith in Action. She envisioned her role as leader, driver, and educator for the community, and would often spend 100 or more hours a month serving on various boards and attending community workshops. She was a fixture at Hendricks County Council meetings, having attended nearly every meeting for 20-plus years. She felt it was her responsibility to ‘represent the taxpayer’ and would sit front and center to make sure the county operated in the best interests of its citizens. She has received numerous awards from the community throughout her life, "Outstanding Citizen Award" from Plainfield Plus, 2001 "Community Leader of the Year Award" from Leadership Hendricks County, 1996 "Integrity Award" from the Community of Plainfield, to just name a few. She also enjoyed reading, gardening, camping, hiking, biking, and swimming, and for a period of time, arose at exactly 4:56 am 3 times a week to swim laps at the community pool. Mary and her husband Ray also traveled extensively both abroad and domestically after their retirement.

She leaves behind her husband of 69 years, Raymond Benson, daughters Joanne (Steven) Germain and Barbara McLean, and son Raymond (Starr) Benson, Jr. In addition, she is survived by grandchildren Theresa (Daric) Eubank, Jacob (Jessica) Firkins, Jennifer (Nathon) Keesee, Adam Benson, Christina (Josh) Devitt, Lauren Quail, and Erica (Timothy) McDaniel, Neysa (Adam) Meyer, Brandon Peterson, McKenzie Peterson and great grandchildren Peyton Keesee, Gavin Keesee, Quinton Keesee, Logan Keesee, Hannah Firkins, Zachary Firkins, Carter Benson, Belle Benson, Katelyn Devitt, Aiden McDaniel, Connor McDaniel, Erin McDaniel, Amelia Quail, Kevin Quail and Charlotte Meyer.  She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Visitation will be from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 10, 2022 in the Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home, Plainfield.  A private family service will follow.  Inurnment will be in Fairfield Friends Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to either of these organizations:

Hendricks County Senior Services 1201 Sycamore Lane Danville, IN 46122;   Suzie's Place in Avon-7519 Beechwood Centre Road, Suite 500 Avon, IN 46123;  or Sheltering Wings 1251 Sycamore Ln Danville, IN 46122






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