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BENZ, Ella Sykes Age 89 of Nashville, passed away peacefully at Baptist Hospital Friday, March 29, 2013 surrounded by her devoted family. Born February 15, 1924 in Nashville, she attended Parmer School, Hillsboro High School, Ward-Belmont, and Vanderbilt University. A mother of four with her first husband, William Nelson II, she volunteered at the Children's Museum of Nashville and was a member of the Junior League of Nashville. In 1981, she and her husband Wilbert moved to Valrico, FL, where she lived until returning to Nashville in 2003. With a rare combination of kindness, optimism and generosity, Ella celebrated the strengths and talents of everyone around her. Such a genuine interest in others made her beloved by family and friends in her hometown, and by her community of 20 years in Florida, where she and Wilbert became the unofficial grandparents of the neighborhood. She is preceded in death by husband, Wilbert Hudson Benz; his two sons, Bert and Bob Benz; parents, Josephine and Gillespie Sykes, and sister, Louise Sykes McKee. She is survived by children, Bill Nelson (Jackie), Jody Osborn (Frank) of New Canaan, CT, Gep Nelson (Katie), Polly Nelson, Ruth Carol Benz McCall of Tampa, FL; daughters-in-law, Linda and Lori Benz; grandchildren, Greg Nelson, Sean Nelson (Shenandoah), Andy Nelson, Charlie Nelson, Liz Poirier (Dennis), Allison Osborn, Katherine Osborn, Frank Osborn, Caroline Osborn, Ella Nelson, Shannon Benz, Lauren Benz, Ron Register, Scott Register, Robert Benz and Karl Benz. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to go to the Early Childhood Education Scholarship Initiative at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (615-321-4939). A celebration of Ella's life will take place on Saturday, April 6th at noon, in the Stanford Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be held at 11 a.m. preceding the service. Sign online guestbook at AustinFuneralService.com; (615) 377-0775.
Austin Funeral & Cremation Services
5115 Maryland Way Brentwood, TN 370237
Published in The Tennessean from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2013