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 Helen Joyce <I>Matson</I> Benedict

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Helen Joyce Matson Benedict

  • Birth 24 Oct 1929 Ninilchik, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, USA
  • Death 7 May 2016 Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, USA
  • Burial Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington, USA
  • Plot 2, Fehrs, F-48, 8
  • Memorial ID 28622018

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 12:00 am - Lewiston Morning Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho

Helen Matson Benedict, wife of the late Robert "Bud" Benedict, died early in the morning on Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Spokane.

Helen passed into heaven, where she was reunited with many family members who have gone before. Helen was the sixth born of nine children to her parents, John Matson and Vera Balashoff Matson, on Oct. 24, 1929, in Ninilchik, Alaska, a small fishing village located on the Kenai Peninsula.

Before attending school, the household spoke Russian, and it was not until first grade that Helen learned English. Playing hopscotch and walking on coffee can stilts in the midnight sun of summer months, or walking across the top rails of fences buried in snow while making her way to school made happy memories she often shared. A typical chore was hauling water by yoke and buckets from the Ninilchik River, which flowed below the family home.

At age 12, life changed for Helen when her mother passed away. Her father felt he could not care for her and three younger siblings, Edna, Victor and Herman. Helen and her siblings were placed in the children's home in Kenai, Alaska. It was there that missionaries John and Eleanor Hunt provided loving care and created a lasting relationship.

In 1945, Ilene Puette, a school teacher in Ninilchik, brought Helen to the lower 48 via Alaskan steamship to Seattle. From there they traveled to Portland, Ore., and then by train to Lewiston, making their way to her new home in the farming community of Anatone. She attended and graduated from Anatone High School in 1947. This is where she met the love of her life. Helen then went on to attend North Idaho College of Education (NICE) and later married Bud on Dec. 10, 1949, in Lewiston.

Bud and Helen farmed and raised cattle at Rocky Hollow, located on the Anatone Flat. They raised their family of four children. Helen was always busy as she cooked for hired hands, tended to her babies, and drove her children and others to town for a variety of activities.

Helen was also active in the Anatone community. She was a prominent member of the Anatone Grange. She loved and never missed a basketball game that her kids played and the Asotin County Fair parade was a yearly highlight. A monthly meeting with the Anatone Pollyette Club was an important aspect of Helen's life, and she loved the long-standing friendships and social involvement. Helen's sense of humor was enjoyed as she shared a joke or story at each meeting.

Many years of international travel provided Helen cultural experiences from places such as Asia, Australia and Europe. Yet Hawaii held a very special place in her heart. Many of her family members and close friends were able to be there and share fun times.

Late last summer, Helen moved to Rockwood Lane Retirement Community in Spokane, and formed many wonderful friendships while she involved herself in activities such as water aerobics, playing cards and singing.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Robert Byron Benedict (1993); and her beloved son, Kim Robert Benedict (2013); as well as her parents and all siblings.

Surviving children removed per Find A Grave guidelines.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Merchant Funeral Home, 1000 Seventh St., Clarkston. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of life at 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn.

Family Members






  • Created by: Barbara Crossler
  • Added: 29 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28622018
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Joyce Matson Benedict (24 Oct 1929–7 May 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28622018, citing Vineland Cemetery, Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Barbara Crossler (contributor 47030589) .