GASTONIA - John Marsh Benfield Jr., 91, passed away peacefully on Nov. 27, 2012, at Robin Johnson Hospice House in Dallas.
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He was born in Mount Holly on Aug. 10, 1921, to John and Zipporah Holdsclaw Benfield.
He was married to Nancy Simpson Benfield for 43 years. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, two sisters, Mary Benfield Fortner and Martha Benfield, and a niece, Abbie Fortner Crawford.
Mr. Benfield is survived by his sisters, Grace Benfield Cloninger and husband, Charles, and Wrene Benfield, all of Mt. Holly; nieces, Martha and Missy Cloninger; nephew, Chuck Cloninger; several great-nieces and nephews.
John served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He received special training at Chanute Field, Illinois and was with the Air Transport Command in Canada and the Yukon. After his military service, he attended Brevard Col-lege on the GI Bill, continued his education at Lenoir Rhyne College and received his Master's Degree in Education at Western Carolina University. He began teaching in Bryson City, NC but spent most of his teaching career in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System,
teaching first at Thomasboro Elementary and later at Coulwood Junior High until his retirement. After his retirement, he attended Gaston College and became a Master Gardener. He enjoyed many hobbies, among them, reading, but his favorite hobby was planting a big garden every spring and fall and sharing the bountiful harvest with his family and friends. John was a long standing member of First United Methodist Church, Gastonia.
Family and friends are invited to attend the graveside service beginning 11 a.m. Friday at Gaston Memorial Park with the Rev. Angela Pleasants and Deacon Jerrianne Pyles officiating.
The family will receive friends at the graveside immediately following the service and other times at the home of Wrene Benfield in Mount Holly.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Robin Johnson Hospice House, c/o Gaston Hospice, P.O. Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054.
Condolences may be sent online to www.mcleanfuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Benfield.
McLean Funeral Directors
700 South New Hope Road Gastonia, NC 28054
Published in Gaston Gazette on Nov. 29, 2012