Jane W. Benson
BAINBRIDGE — Dr. Jane W. Benson, 87, died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at her home in Bainbridge.
She was born March 25, 1926, in Buffalo, the daughter of the late William and Florence Whallon.
She married Kenneth W. Benson on Feb. 7, 1948. He predeceased her on Jan. 2, 2011.
She is survived by her eight children, Karen and Gary Nearpass of Clyde, Carmel (Kim) and Robert Normand of Gloucester, Mass., Tracey and Gary Smith of Bainbridge, Allison and Daryl Smith of Walton, Lesley and Ronald Brown of Greene, Kirk and Carolyn Benson of Gloucester, Mass., Scott and Cheryl Benson of Walton and Kristyn and Robert DeGroat of Bainbridge; 30 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; a brother, William Whallon of Sidney; a sister, Ruth DeWitt of Cleveland; and many nieces and nephews.
Jane was a pioneer for woman veterinarians. She graduated from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1947, one of four women in her class.
In 1949, Ken and Jane settled in Bainbridge and began a 60-year career as veterinarians; serving many Tri-Town residents from their local office. In her long career, Jane worked on all types of animals: Wrestling with large dairy cows as a young, busy veterinarian to a myriad of small animals later in her years in Bainbridge, at the same time raising eight children.
She was a member of the Bainbridge Guilford Board of Education for 15 years. She was on the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Home for the aging for 12 years.
Her love of singing led her to share her talents with the church choir, Tri-Town Theatre and the Binghamton Downtown Singers.
Jane was a member of the Bainbridge United Methodist Church, volunteering as the treasurer, choir director, and for the soup kitchen and food pantry. She also volunteered as Girl Scout leader, delivered Meals on Wheels, and for Hospice.
She, along with Ken, was very involved with the General Clinton Canoe Regatta having been a part of it from its inception. Popcorn, soft drinks and Cotton Candy were her specialty. She even competed in and finished the 70-mile race a couple of times.
In 2002, she was a recipient of the First Lady of the Year award by the Beta Sigma Phi.
During her life she traveled to Africa a number of times. In 1968, she spent a year with her whole family in Ghana, where she assisted her husband as a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ghana. In 1974, she traveled to Tanzania to evaluate Rotary’s Heifer Project. In 1982, she traveled back to Ghana to evaluate the Rotary Well Project. Later she accompanied the Rotary’s GSE team in Nigeria.
A memorial service will be held at the Bainbridge United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 27 North Main St., Bainbridge, NY 13733.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at www.landersfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.