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Edith Ruth Curliss Benjamin Chapman

Obituary for Edith Ruth Curliss Benjamin Chapman

June 6, 1923 - May 3, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 94

Obituary

Edith Ruth Curliss Benjamin Chapman b: June 6, 1923 Elmwood Place, OH passed away on May 3, 2018 and flew to Heaven, accompanied by her beloved hummingbirds. Our Mom was extremely caring, intelligent and talented. She had a very successful 27 year professional career while raising her three sons, enabling each of us to obtain advanced degrees after our father's early illness and death.

She was preceded in death by her husbands: Dr. Mason Neal Benjamin (m: 1944; d: 1970); and Ira Thomas Chapman (m: 1983; d: 1997); parents Lloyd Aloysius Curliss (1987) and Johanna Otillie (Mathilda) Hochmuth Curliss (1976) and sister, Dorothy (1921); daughter-in-law Schellie Benjamin (2010).

She received her Bachelor of Science in 1957 from Union College (Barbourville, KY), Magna Cum Laude and received The (Governor) John D. Black Award for highest grades in her senior year. She later received a Master of Science in Nutrition – Food Service Management and Quantity Food Preparation in 1971 from the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY).

Edith served the counties of Knox (KY) and Brevard, Indian River and Orange (FL) as Director or Assistant Director of School Food Services from 1957 to 1984.

While with Knox County School System during the Kennedy Administration, at the president's request to the Kentucky State Government, she developed a Special School Feeding program for the Appalachian area in 1-4-room schools which had no feeding programs. Other areas, including inner city Chicago, a Native American reservation and five other different needs type areas were involved in the effort to determine how in-school feeding enhanced the ability to learn. The NBC Huntley Brinkley evening news program documented the feeding program; sending a camera crew from NYC to film the feeding program, which was presented as part of the news program at a later date.

She also taught night classes at Brevard County Community College related to School Food Services and Quantity Food Preparation and Management for all types of food services during her time in the county.

Her hobbies and pastimes included baking, making candy, traveling, sewing, fishing, antiques, and bird watching.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law William (Vickie Ward) Benjamin (Austin, TX), Robert (Toni Raymond) Benjamin (Argyle, TX), Mason Neal Jr. (Carol Myers) Benjamin (Bryson City, NC), 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren and stepchildren Thomas N. (Kathrine Weiland) Chapman (Harvard, IL), Kathleen and Everett D. Thomas (Hammond, NY), Laura Kornick Wilson- deceased, of Florida, widow of Donald Wilson, Eileen and James Maneely (Big Sky, MT), John F. (Barbara King) Chapman (Ft. Pierce, FL), 13 step grandchildren and 25 step great grandchildren.

Our family thanks the staff of Longhorn Village for their superior service and care since she moved into an independent living unit in 2009 and, in particular, her care after moving into the Casa Mesquite skilled nursing unit in 2016.

Interment will take place at Oak Hills Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH alongside her parents, sister and maternal grandparents later this year.

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