Age 79, of Beaver, formerly of Coraopolis and Sewickley, passed away at her home on Friday, March 7, 2014. She was born in Atlanta, GA, on March 3, 1935, to the late Herbert and Annie Lee (McDonald) Sharp. Beloved wife for 56 years to Ronald G. Benson; loving mother of Beth Christensen of Pittsburgh and Sarah J. Benson of Swissvale; brother of Linda Abney (Dr. Howard T. Abney) of Watkinsville, GA, and the late Herbert Sharp; sister-in-law of Kay Sharp of Ellijay, GA. Polly graduated in 1957 from the University of Georgia in Education. She taught Elementary Education in Atlanta, GA, Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, OH. In Pittsburgh, she taught remedial reading at Robert Morris College and CCAC. Polly also taught at Bernard Haldane, training for people switching jobs in the Pittsburgh Area. She was an active and faithful member of St. Stephen's Church where she was part of the memory support group, Cursillo and volunteer educator for Priority 2. Impacted by addiction in her own family, she was a lifelong advocate of promoting healing within families with St. Stephen's Addiction Support Ministries. In 2001, Polly was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Being a courageous woman, embracing with a fearless openness, she confronted her diagnosis. Her frankness and ease were appreciated by others and strengthened her relationship with her husband. Since 1958, her husband and helpmate, Ronald, with their deep abiding love, felt his wife influenced and encouraged every significant spiritual development. They were a team in the workplace and in their church. Polly will be missed by her family and many friends. Polly had a wonderful gift of making people feel special. Memorial visitation Friday, March 28, 2014, from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. at The Christy House, 403 Frederick Ave., Sewickley, PA 15143. Memorial service Saturday, March 29, 2014, at 2 p.m. at St. Stephen's Church, 405 Frederick Ave., Sewickley, PA 15143. Rev. Geoffrey Chapman will officiate. Burial will be private in the columbarium in St. Stephen's Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Mark for Ministries, P.O. Box 995, Port St. Joe, FL 32457. Arrangements by COPELAND'S.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Mar. 23, 2014