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 cbidner@msmu.edu.

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  1. My deepest sympathies to the Benson family. Kathy was a big part of our lives and she will be sorely missed by all of us Clarkes. May the angels greet her at the Gates to Paradise that she so richly deserves.

  2. We are so very sorry for your loss. Kathy always welcomed us with the warmest smile. Always a pleasure to be in her presence.
    We’ll never forget how beautifully she arranged the altar. She had such a talent and she did it with such love.
    We know God has placed her in a gorgeous garden where she grow and nurture her love for flowers. I pray she’ll invites us all to her garden some day. Rest peacefully Kathy. You’re in our hearts. Uplifting prayers for her friends and family.

  3. I am blessed to call Kathy a dear friend. Kathy, Terry, Larry and my self were members of the Christian Family Movement for many years. We enjoyed meetings, trips,mystery weekends together as we strengthen our Catholic faith in our families. Michele and my son John went to Bishop Montgomery together. She was a cheerleader and John played football . I will miss her so very much and bless and pray for the entire Benson family during this very difficult time.

  4. Terry and Family: We lost a great lady in your wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt. She helped me form who I am today. We sat down together in my late teens and she listened to me and how I wanted to live my life she gave me some incredible advice and guidance. I have used her words to help many people see a path for their lives. I know we will all miss her. Her laugh and smile were contagious. Her heart was always opened. I know we all feel the loss in our hearts. All my love and prayers to our entire extended family.

  5. As I look back over these past 43 years, I truly believe God had a hand in allowing the Bell family to become next door neighbors with the Benson family. While it was only for a short period of 8 years – those 8 years touched all 3 of our lives in more ways than words can express. Occasionally in life you meet that very special person who it is a privilege to call a friend. I feel so lucky to have had both Terry and Kathy as such great friends – even after moving to Sacramento. Kathy was a caring person. Her family were blessed to have had her as a wife, mother, and grandmother. I remember Christmas mornings when they would come over for coffee and breakfast and how we used to hide our kids Christmas gifts at each others homes and then exchange them after we all got home from Midnight Mass. I still remember the summers on their way to Tahoe and how they would stop and spend a day with us before heading on up Hwy 50. I remember the one time we joined them rafting down the American River. There were many wonderful times and how lucky and privileged we all were to know her.

    While no one knew her or loved her like her husband, children, and grandchildren – Kathy’s love will always be here. Memories of her will bless you always in the everyday things that still carry the tenderness of her life.
    She will always be missed, but never forgotten. Whichever memory makes you smile the most, whichever one makes you the happiest to have had her love…I hope you hold those memories closest to your heart.

  6. Terry, it was a pleasure to know you and Kathy, and to babysit for you so many, many years ago! She was a beautiful person while on this earth, and is now a beautiful soul in Heaven. Bless you all!

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