Jean Ellen Benham, 71, of Englewood, Tennessee, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital.
She was born Nov. 24, 1946, in Burns, Ks., to the late John Herbert and Ruth Brenzikofer Weber.
She moved to Tennessee from Anchorage, Ak., in 2002, following the death of her first husband, C. A. “Flea” Benham to be near her daughter’s growing family. She and her late husband were the former owners of Beauty Vans in Anchorage.
Jean was a talented singer and was a former member of the Gold Dust Quartet and the Anchorage Chapter of Sweet Adeline’s Chorus. Her current hobbies included the Dorcas Ladies Quilting Club; the Cherokee Women’s Association; and was a member of a Bridge Club.
Jean had a giving heart for others. To fulfill that passion, she volunteered with the Madisonville and Tellico Plains Soup Kitchens. Prior to that she served at the Ronald McDonald House as a way to give back to them for their support of her family following the birth of two premature grandbabies.
She attended Center Presbyterian Church.
She loved to travel and spend time with her family. She took many road trips with each of her granddaughters to visit family members in her home state of Kansas. These times were special and unique adventures for them proving she was a fun-loving Grandma. She will be remembered by her unexpected and quirky gift-giving as well as her great sense of humor. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
She was preceded in death by one sister, Margaret Lambert.
Survivors include her loving husband, Arvil Buckner of Englewood; her beloved daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Todd Allen of Apison; four beautiful granddaughters whom she adored, Merrin Allen, MacKenzie Allen, Madison Allen, and McKlaine Allen all of Apison; three sisters, Rita (John) Spinden of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, Joan (Don) Siemer, and Alice Hatch of Wichita, Kansas; three brothers-in-law, Calvin Buckner, Lamar Buckner and Ricky Buckner all of Englewood; two step-children, Roger and Lenee, and their children, Ryan, Jeannie, Cherise, & Nellie; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 16, from 1-3 p.m. at Center Presbyterian Church, 6265 TN-360, Tellico Plains, Tn. 37385. A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 3 p.m. with Pastor John Faraone officiating.
In lieu of flowers, and in keeping with Jean’s giving spirit, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Tellico Plains Soup Kitchen, Attn: Food Pantry, P.O. Box 434, Tellico Plains, Tn. 37385.
Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastBrainerdChapel.com.