March 26, 1940 ~ April 29, 2020
Born in: New York, New York
Resided in: Redondo Beach, California
Kathleen Mary Benson
March 26, 1940 – April 29, 2020
Kathleen Mary “Kathy” Benson, age 80, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 29. She was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1940, to Alex Stevenson and Molly Campbell. She was the middle of seven children. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1946 where Kathleen attended Visitation School in Westchester and Saint Monica High School. After high school, she went to work as a secretary at Loyola University of Los Angeles (now LMU) where she met her future husband, Terry Benson. After a brief courtship, they married in 1965.
After giving birth to their first child, Kathleen became a homemaker. The family lived in Huntington Beach for 6 years before moving to Redondo Beach in 1972. She enjoyed bowling, flower arranging, and traveling to familiar places like Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas with her family. She shared many of her talents with St. James Church; in particular, she edited the parish newsletter for many years and organized the environment by ensuring all liturgical ceremonies were appropriately decorated.
Kathleen is survived by her loving husband, Terry, of 55 years, children Michele (Mathew) Starkey and Brian (Jacquelyn); grandchildren Conor, Brenna, Hana, Devin, Ashley, Jacob and Reagan. Her son David passed away in 2013. She is also survived by her brothers Peter (Joan) and Thomas (Linda), and sister Maureen plus dozens of nieces and nephews.
About 4 years ago, Kathleen was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. For about a year, she had full time caregivers at home until she was unable to walk or stand up. In March 2019, we moved her into a full-time nursing facility. In April 2020, she tested positive for COVID-19 but did not exhibit any symptoms.
The family held a small grave-side service on May 6. Sometime in the future, we will have a memorial service to honor Kathleen at St. James Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Mount Saint Mary’s University in Kathleen’s name. We have set up the Kathleen Benson Memorial Scholarship and created a giving page via this link: https://www.msmu.edu/events/kathleen-benson-memorial/. As an option, you can make a gift over the phone at 213-477-2971 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.