Allison Marjorie Benson, 20, of Leawood, Kansas, died unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, while studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. Allison was born Nov. 9, 1999, into the loving embrace of her parents Charley and Jennifer Benson in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her beloved two sisters, Caitlin and Sara Benson; maternal grandfather, William B. Kircher; paternal grandmother, Marilyn M. Benson; and many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandmother Susan H. Kircher and her grandfather John A. Benson. Allison grew up loved and adored by her two big sisters, parents, and barking besties Rosie and Mattie. Allison attended Highlawn Montessori, Corinth Elementary, Indian Hills Middle School, and graduated a proud Lancer from Shawnee Mission East in 2018. She played on the Girl's Golf team, was a photographer on the Hauberk yearbook staff, and president of the Happy Club. Her favorite teacher, Madame Losey, sparked her love of France, its culture, people, art, history, and architecture. Allison attended Kansas State University where she pledged Kappa Alpha Theta. Majoring in Education and French, Allison planned on being an elementary school teacher after graduation. This January, her big sisters Caitlin and Sara traveled with her to Aix en Provence to meet her French family and begin her semester abroad. In the three short weeks before her passing, she made many close friends and was living her life-long dream. Allison was a shining light to all who knew her with bright eyes and a ready smile, radiating positivity, empathy, acceptance, and love. Her charm and sweetness won her instant friends whom she cherished and held close to her heart. Allison's joy radiated from the inside out, and when in her presence, anything was possible. She was a role model and a beautiful example of an authentic, grace-filled life for her friends and family. She leaves us with the gift of her light and our promise to pass it on. Abundant gratitude goes out to the leaders, staff, and students at IAU in Aix-en-Provence, who, in our moment of profound grief, met our every need and enveloped us with compassion and love. Services will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the Allison Marjorie Benson Fund, c/o Children's Mercy Hospital, 2401 Gilham Rd., Kansas City, MO 64108. "She Believed She Could, So She Did!"
Published in Kansas City Star on Feb. 16, 2020.