Mitsuko "Michi" Benninghoff

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Mitsuko "Michi" Benninghoff Mar. 20, 1930 - July 2, 2014 SOUTH BEND - Mitsuko "Michi" Benninghoff, 84, residing in South Bend, passed away at 6:48 a.m. Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at Memorial Hospital, following a brief illness. She was born March 20, 1930 in Hokkaido, Japan and is the daughter of Yokichi & Miyo (Abe) Matsumoto. On April 25, 1953 at Stull United Methodist Church, South Bend, she was united in marriage to Walter L. Benninghoff. She is survived by Walt, her loving husband of 61 years. Also surviving is a daughter, Gail (David) Waltman of South Bend, IN; a son, Craig (Karen) Benninghoff, of South Bend, IN; nine grandchildren, Jessica (Tim) Concannon, Nicole (Casey) Sponseller, Sarah Benninghoff, Katie, Jenny, Erin, Ryan and William Waltman, two great-grandchildren, Trey & Joshua Concannon, and a brother, Sezo (Mitsuko) Matsumoto of Sapporo, Japan. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Kazuko, and Atsuko, and two brothers, Zenechi and Gen Matsumoto. Michi retired on July 1, 1992 from Bayer Corp. following 20 years of service. She was a longtime member of Grace United Methodist Church. Michi grew up in Japan where after completing high school, her father sent her to school to learn cooking, sewing, and flower arranging. Although she mastered these skills, she was always happier socializing than attending school. Years after settling down in South Bend, this affinity for socializing was continued through her involvement in a club of nine friends that met monthly to play Pictionary. The group began in 1988, and Michi participated for the last 26 years of her life. Michi's passions included cooking, friends, and family, and she was happiest when combining all three. The best example of this is the abundance of Japanese and American dishes she would prepare for New Year's Day, which became a family tradition. No holiday or family gathering was complete without Michi's sushi, teriyaki chicken, and German chocolate cake. Her grandchildren's friends came for the cooking, but stayed for her loving, amusing, and irreplaceable personality. Michi was always happiest when surrounded by her grandchildren. She never missed an opportunity to brag about their academics, show off the pictures she carried in her purse, or attempt to set up her granddaughters with attractive suitors. She was the picture of a perfect grandmother: a stash of candy in the pantry, pictures of the grandchildren covering every surface, a love of taking her granddaughters shopping, and was present at all the sporting events, graduations, and small recitals she could attend. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 7, 2014 at Grace United Methodist Church, 3012 South Twyckenham Drive, South Bend. Rev. Dr. David Schrader will officiate. Entombment will follow at Riverview Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. p.m. Sunday. July 6, at the Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, 3718 South Michigan Street, South Bend, and one hour prior to services Monday at the church. Expressions of sympathy on behalf of Mrs. Benninghoff may be offered to Grace United Methodist Church, 3012 South Twyckenham Drive, South Bend, IN 46614, Pet Refuge, 4626 Burnett Drive, South Bend, IN 46614 or Hospice Foundation, 501 Comfort Drive, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Online condolences to the family may be sent to

Funeral Home
Palmer Funeral Homes - Guisinger Chapel
3718 South Michigan Street South Bend, IN 46614
(574) 291-5880
Funeral Home Details
Published in South Bend Tribune from July 3 to July 5, 2014