Elizabeth Beyer Benvenutti
January 28, 1930 - September 4, 2013
Bay St. Louis, MS
Elizabeth (Betty) Cullen Beyer Benvenutti, beloved wife of Peter J. Benvenutti passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord on Sept. 4, 2013 at the age of 83.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles R. Beyer and May Hogan Beyer, and her younger sister, Margaret Beyer Burns. Also preceding her in death are brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Helen Benvenutti, Anthony and Neoma Benvenutti, Catherine and Bill Steele, Mary and T.F. Monti, Anna Blaize, Daniel Blanco, Alan Young and Francis Evans.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 65 years, Pete Benvenutti, and eight children: Peter Benvenutti, Jr. (Lise Pearlman) of Oakland, CA, Chuck Benvenutti (Beth) of Bay St. Louis, Stephen Benvenutti (Chelise) of Bay St. Louis, Michael Benvenutti (Mary Ann) of Bay St. Louis, Mary Kay Hubbard of Waveland, Patrick Benvenutti (Cathy) of Bay St. Louis, Mary Beth Benvenutti of Martinez, CA, and Ned Benvenutti (Kitsy) of Gulfport. She is also survived by her sister's husband, Neal Burns of Waveland; and sisters children, Pat (Robin) Burns of Bellville, TX and Molly Burns of Waveland, as well as her sisters-in-law, Alice Blanco of Peru, Lucille Young of Ocean Springs and Betty Benvenutti Evans of Conroe, TX.
Betty was blessed with 18 grandchildren: Anna (Charlie) Hoffman, Jamie Benvenutti (Philip Davis), Mali Benvenutti, Michael (Jennifer) Benvenutti, Christine (David) DeBlanc, Katy (Jovan) Dowdy, Jackson Benvenutti, Laurie Benvenutti, Kyle Hubbard, Becca Hubbard, Richard (Brittany) Benvenutti, Mandy Benvenutti, Brent Benvenutti, Katie Hancock, Karen (Jason) Oliver, Vincent LoGrasso, Riley Benvenutti and Hogan Benvenutti.
In addition, twelve great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, students, and adopted family members will remember her fondly.
Betty was born to Merchant Marine Captain Charles R. Beyer and his wife May Hogan Beyer. While a senior at St. Joseph Academy in Bay St. Louis she met Pete Benvenutti, a young Marine Corps veteran of World War II. After the 1947 hurricane the Beyer family moved to Pass Christian so Betty could commute more easily to Gulf Park Community College, but Pete and Betty continued their courtship and were married at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church on September 16, 1948. Pete rejoined the Marines and the Benvenuttis moved around the country as their family grew. Betty frequently managed alone during these years of Pete's transfers and overseas duty, often returning to Bay St. Louis for extended visits and assistance. In 1964 the Benvenuttis returned permanently to Bay St. Louis to raise their children.
In the early 1970's Betty and several other young mothers formed a neighborhood improvement group in Cedar Point. With toddlers in tow, the ladies pulled weeds, collected litter and planted flowers in strategic Cedar Point locations and along Highway 90. The Bay St. Louis Beautification Committee was the forerunner of today's city sponsored beautification department. Betty and Pete served as CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) advisors and chaperones for several years and for many years Betty volunteered at the Hancock County Library as the reader for Story Hour. She also was a faithful volunteer for decades in the cleaning and maintaining of St. Joseph Chapel where her family attended weekly Mass. Once all of Pete and Betty's children were of school age, Betty's love for "little people" prompted her to help establish a pre-school program at Christ Episcopal Day School. Her talent for capturing children's attention and engaging them in productive thinking encouraged hundreds of three and four year olds to wonder, think and question "Why?" Countless successful members of the community today remember "Miss Betty".
In 1983 Betty, Pete and their children began Bay Motor Winding, Inc. Betty served as President for many years continuing to offer her guidance and leadership. She was involved in the business as a stockholder and director until her health declined.
Betty's love of people, budgetary prowess and magic in the kitchen ensured many evenings of lively conversation, competitive board games and infectious laughter. Betty was always delighted to add more chairs to her table and no one went away hungry. Betty's quieter pursuits included reading, gardening, working jigsaw puzzles or simply lending a sympathetic ear. Betty and Pete also liked to travel, often with at least one grandchild.
Though the last few years of Alzheimer's disease robbed Betty of her precious memories, she lived a long and joy-filled life that endeared her to all who knew her.
Pete Benvenutti and his children sincerely appreciate everyone who so patiently cared for Betty during her final years: Dr. Sidney Chevis, Georgette Hibbs, Dot Kersanac Berns, Nikki Hutchinson, Home Instead Care, Dunbar Village, Gentiva Hospice and a very special thanks to Rose Davis who faithfully remained Betty's best friend to the end of her days.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church on Sept. 14th at 12:00 P.M. with visitation 1 hour prior. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Rose Education Fund, 301 S. Necaise St., Bay St. Louis, MS 39520.
Edmond Fahey Funeral Home in Bay St. Louis. MS is in charge.
Published in The Sun Herald on Sept. 11, 2013