Mary Elizabeth Benjamin

Benjamin,M web picMay 1936 ~ May 2014

Mary Elizabeth Benjamin, 78, of Turlock, passed away on Thursday, May 29, 2014 after a brief illness. Mary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1936 to parents Benjamin Earl and Bessie Veronica Smith. She attended school in Stockton, CA. She married the late Terry Lyn Rasmus in 1954, moved to San Francisco, and had three children. Terry passed away at the age of 26 from polio.

Mary then moved to San Jose, where she raised her two girls, Kristy Anne and Bonnie Lyn Rasmus. Son Galen, born May 10, 1958, was given up for adoption at birth. Mary worked as a secretary for Valley Title Co. and Golden State Title for 30 years. In 1976, she married Michael Benjamin and moved to Turlock. At the time of her passing, Mary worked as a secretary for Padilla Lath and Plaster. During the 27 years she worked for them, the Padilla family became her extended family as she watched their children grow and have children of their own.

In April 2007, Galen’s adopted family contacted Mary and she was reunited with her son for a brief period before he passed away from melanoma cancer on July 2, 2007. In 2010, Mary helped to establish the Celebrate Recovery program at New Life Christian Church, where she became a sponsor, program leader and inspiration to those who were blessed to know her. She will be dearly missed.

Mary is survived by her daughters Kristy Anne Tesh of Las Vegas, NV, and Bonnie Lyn and spouse Wayne Watson of Jackson, CA, four grandchildren Jackson Tesh, Kelly Tesh, Kegan Watson, and Lacy Karo, three great-grandchildren Oden Christopher Karo, Josephine Anneliese Tesh, and Jade Marie McBrayer. She is also survived by her brother, Patrick Smith, of Stockton, CA, nephew Michael Smith, niece Karen Vossmer, and Mary’s extended family, Dennis and Holly Padilla and family, and Michelle and Pepe Padilla. Mary is preceded in death by her parents Benjamin Earl Smith and Bessie Veronica Smith, husband Terry Lyn Rasmus, and son Galen Montgomery Burgett.

A Celebration of Life will be held on June 29 at 3:00pm at New Life Christian Center, 2918 Tuolumne Rd., Turlock, CA. 95380.

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