Elma Justine Benedick (1935 - 2018)

  • "Dear Gene and Family, So sorry for your loss. I remember..."
    - Mimi Marxen

Justine Benedick died on Sunday, October 7. She was born in 1935 in Willow Springs, Missouri to Elma and Justin Perkins. Justine was the oldest of 13 children and spent much of her early years caring for her younger siblings.

After graduating from high school in 1953, Justine moved away to Kansas City, Missouri and began working at Hallmarks. As a child, Justine never had a tablet of paper to write on. She took notes on old envelopes and other scraps of paper. When Justine moved to Kansas City and started earning a living, she made sure to buy school supplies for her brothers and sisters. By 1956 she saved enough money to have electricity brought to the family home in Willow Springs.

Justine met Gene Benedick on her birthday in 1957 when he began renting a room in the home where Justine was also living. The landlady's parakeet had escaped its cage, and Gene impressed Justine by catching the bird and returning it to its cage.

Gene and Justine were married on July 12, 1958 at St. James Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri. They spent their honeymoon fishing on the Lake of the Ozarks. They quickly started a family. In 1963, Gene's employer, International Paper, moved him and Justine and their four young children to Longview, Washington. Their fifth child joined the family when they were living in Washington. After a few more transfers the family settled in Eugene, Oregon, where Gene started his own business, Wesco Cedar.

Justine was a loving mother and wife. She and Gene, her husband of 60 years, raised five kids. She was a Cub Scout den mother and was active in church fundraisers, including the "cake walk". In the late 1960s over the summer, she would make apple cake with walnuts every night and bring it with all five kids to the bean fields in north Eugene. The money her children earned picking green beans taught a valuable lesson about the value of a dollar. Justine made a lot of her children's school clothes, including a coat for each one. She did the best she could with what she had in those early years and kept her family close.

Justine made sure that each of her children learned to play a musical instrument and insisted that they play in the school orchestra through high school. She loved to be outside in her garden. She planted colorful flowers every year, and grew tomatoes, berries, and many kinds of pumpkins. She collected antiques and enjoyed shopping at flea markets. She took in stray cats and always made sure the wild birds had feeders full of seed.

She was always quick to give a hug and say "I love you."

Justine is survived by her husband, her five children, 13 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren as well as 10 of her siblings and their kids.

There will be a rosary at St. Mark Catholic Church on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. This will then be followed by a committal at Lane Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements entrusted to Musgrove Family Mortuary. Please access the obituary and you are invited to sign the guestbook at musgroves.com

Funeral Home
Musgrove Family Mortuary
225 S Danebo Ave
Eugene, OR 97402
(541) 686-2818
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Published in Eugene Register-Guard on Oct. 10, 2018