Jul. 13, 1920 Bangor Van Buren County Michigan, USA
Jul. 13, 2009 Kalamazoo Kalamazoo County Michigan, USA
Born on July 13, 1920 to Arthur and Myrtle (Hazzard) Wakeman in Bangor, MI, Arliss Ruth Benham died on July 13, 2009, her 89th birthday, at the Kairos Dwelling Home in Kalamazoo, MI. She graduated from Bangor High School, as class valedictorian, and also graduated from the North Central Bible Institute of Minneapolis, MN.
In 1980 and at 70 years of age, she retired from the Kellogg Company as Consultant of Consumer Affairs and was at that time, the company's oldest working employee. An organist/pianist for over 60 years, she played for a number of churches including the First Baptist Churches in Minot, ND, Coldwater, MI, and Battle Creek, MI. She also played for the Battle Creek Bible Church. In June of 2006, and at the age of 86, she retired as the pipe organist for St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Battle Creek. Arliss Benham loved God, her family, and her church and was dedicated to serving God through her gift of music.
She is survived by one daughter, Diann (James) Danhoff, Gull Lake, MI and one son, Dr. John (Merridee) Benham, Jr., Blaine, MN; seven grandchildren, Emily Fairbanks, Joshua Sattler, Dr. Stephen (Kris) Benham, Melody (Scott) Ivester, Dr. Todd (Tirza) Benham, PJ (Lisa) Danhoff, Jayne (Erik) Sabaitis; 10 great-grandchildren; one sister, Virginia Thomas, Grandbury, TX; several nieces and nephews; and two special friends, Ella and Jake. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Roselyn Crandall, South Haven MI.
At the request of family members, friends may call Thursday from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home in Battle Creek, MI. A Service of Thanksgiving to honor Arliss' life will be held at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Battle Creek, MI 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 17, 2009.
Memorials may be made to: Kairos Dwelling Home, 2945 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI, 49048, Music in World Cultures, St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church or a charity of one's choice. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer on 7/15/2009