(Florence) Jean (Kneeland) Benson
(Florence) Jean (Kneeland) Benson, 89, of Warwick, passed away Friday, July 7th, at the Greenwood Center Nursing Home. She was the loving wife of Donald L. Benson; they were married for 67 years.
Born in Providence, Jean was the daughter of the late Harmon and Sarah (Sally) (Allen) Kneeland. After graduating from Cranston East High School in 1945, she met her future husband while both were working for the Providence Journal Bulletin. With both of her parents and a grandfather having been journalists, Jean developed a strong love for writing. She wrote poetry; was chief writer and reporter for the Meadowbrook (Warwick) neighborhood monthly newsletter, the Plat Patter, and researched and wrote commemorative articles about world currencies for the Historic Providence Mint. She also compiled numerous scrapbooks with commentary and memorabilia highlighting her life with friends and family over many years.
After raising four children, Jean went to work for Klitzner Industries of Providence as office manager for the Historic Providence Mint division. She previously worked as a clerk for Griggs & Browne Exterminating Company. Coming out of retirement, Jean became personal secretary to then-Warwick Mayor Lincoln Chafee, a position she held throughout his term as mayor. From City Hall, she became involved with the Pilgrim Senior Center, calling bingo games and organizing trips for seniors to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. She loved bingo and cribbage, as well as playing cutthroat games of Uno with her family, and duckpin bowling. All her life she was a devoted Red Sox fan, and one of her fondest memories was having attended the last game of hall of famer Carl Yastrzemski. Because her car's license plate read QB1, she was affectionately known by friends and family as "The Queen Bee."
Besides her husband, Jean is survived by her children: Donald L. Benson Jr. and his wife Elaine Buderer of Columbia, MD, Patricia J. Armitage and her husband Glen Armitage of Warwick, Charles H. Benson and his wife Linda Benson of Warwick, and David A. Benson and his wife Penny Benson of Charlestown, MA., as well as seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her service and burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pilgrim Senior Center, 27 Pilgrim Parkway, Warwick, RI 02888. Funeral arrangements by the Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home, Warwick. Online condolences may be shared at: www.murphyfuneralhomes.org