Heaven is a better place today as Benita Markham, 97, has achieved the greatest promotion to be with God and the many loved ones who have gone before her. She was a faithful servant to God and lived her life as an excellent example of the greatest commandments. Her beautiful smile lit up her face and brought joy, encouragement, strength, peace, and laughter to many!
Born December 29, 1916 in Lake City, Florida, she was the first of four daughters born to Walter Franklin and Lonnie Owens Scofield. She graduated from Columbia High School. She was married to Nolan Markham on August 2, 1941. They made their home in Jacksonville, Fl until his ill health made it necessary for them to return to Lake City. Benita worked with the Columbia County Tax Collector, and for over thirty years was Receptionist, Bookkeeper, Doctor's Assistant for Dr. H. S. Howell. She was always thrilled to see "one of our babies" when, as an adult, they would speak to her.
Benita was predeceased by her parents, her husband and one sister, Delita Scofield Nye. She is survived by a son, Thomas "Toby" Markham of Lake City, FL and his wife Jeanne Markham, a beloved and devoted daughter-in-law, and by a daughter Linda Markham Baker of Manitou Springs, CO and her husband Richard Baker, Benita's "mean ole son-in-law" entrusted with improvements and financial advice and guidance so that their visits to Florida were greatly anticipated.
There are four grandchildren: Lauren Markham (Gene) Lloyd, of Alexandria, VA, Cheryl Markham (Nathaniel) Ward of San Antonio, TX; Greg (Mary) Baker, Cascade, CO and Eden Baker (Theryn) Bullock of Keller, TX. Five great grandchildren also survive: Atticus and Elsa Baker; Bert Blocker, Bea and Annie Bullock. She is survived by two sisters, Mable Scofield Wolford, Clover, SC and Elsie Scofield Hunter-Holliday, Lake City, FL. Many nieces, nephews and cousins also survive and many loved ones who called her "Aunt Benita".
As a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Lake City, FL for seventy plus years, she was active in Sunday school, Martha Circle and Women of the Church. She played the piano for Sunday school or wherever needed, supported the Youth activities, musical programs, and probably made, at least, one million gallons of sweet tea for church events all over the area! In earlier years she attended the Paloma Presbyterian Mission on Gum Swamp Rd. When Dr. 'Mont' needed someone to play his portable organ she was volunteered as "One of the Scofield girls plays piano!" which began a long association with Dr. & Mrs. E. F. Montgomery, Sr. at First Presbyterian Church, retreats at Montreat, NC, camps, etc. Benita often visited Bethel United Methodist Church and Pine Grove Baptist Church where she shared her talent and joy of playing the piano. She enjoyed Homemaker's Club which led to many ribbons for her delicious Pound Cakes and other goodies at the County Fair. She was an active member and officer of the local chapter of AARP and worked as a volunteer at the Christian Service Center for several years.
Rev. James Montgomery will lead the Memorial and Graveside Services at Bethel United Methodist Church, 4869 South US Hwy 441 at Race Track Rd, Thursday March 20, 2014 at 2 pm. A reception with the family will follow in the church fellowship hall. Arrangements are under the direction of the DEES-PARRISH FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 458 South Marion Ave., Lake City, FL 32025 (386) 752-1234. Please sign the on-line family guest book at parrishfamilyfuneralhome.com