Bernadine (Beni) Mary Ballmes, 83, a resident of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away Saturday, March 31, 2012.
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Beni was born on Nov. 21, 1928, to Margaret (Earhart) and Amore Ditter in Yakima, Wash. Beni received her early education mostly at boarding school, where she got into a lot of mischief. If you've ever heard any of her stories about this time in her life, you surely got a good laugh out of it.
She received her college degree at Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Ore. In later years, she earned her master's degree through Troy University in Pensacola, Fla. In Oregon, Beni met O'Dean (Stretch) Ballmes and they were married on Dec. 27, 1952. Beni retired from Baptist Hospital as a hematologist and instructor.
Beni was an avid bridge player and became a life master bridge player. She and Stretch donated a building to the Fort Walton Beach Bridge Club. She was also a member of MENSA and SOAR, and an avid crossword puzzle player.
Beni is survived by her husband of 59 years, O'Dean Ballmes; four children, Gil H. Ballmes, Michael A. (Pia) Ballmes, Sydney F. (Ted) Werthmuller, and M. Leslie (Art) Bethea. She was the proud grandmother of Stacey, Gil Jr., Simon, Sinclair, Mary and Ted.
Services will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church on St. Mary Avenue in Fort Walton Beach on Tuesday, April 17, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.McLaughlinMortuary.com.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from Apr. 3 to Apr. 8, 2012