Melissa M. Benner
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MELISSA BENNER Melissa M. "Mel" Benner, 39, of Rosenhayn, NJ passed away unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, May 1, 2012, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Mel was born and raised in Norristown, and had resided in Rosenhayn for the past 2 years. Mel was a gifted athlete and a National AAU Champion; she was a Gwynedd Mercy High School graduate and was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she received her bachelor's degree in English. She was looking forward to returning to college in June to obtain her master's degree. Mel was a world traveler and was able to incorporate her love for traveling to teaching in Japan as well as in Santa Monica, CA. Besides traveling she enjoyed reading, yoga and being in tune with her inner peace. She was a member of the SG-USA Buddhist Center, Turnersville, NJ. She is survived by her parents, Jim and Mary Ann (Kashatus) Benner, Sr.; brother and sister in-law, Jim Benner, Jr. and Meg Willett; sister and brother in-law, Kim and Kenneth Eckler, Jr.; nieces and nephew, Darlene and Marsha Benner, Daisy, Eve and Shane Eckler Relatives and friends will be received Monday from 11 to 12:30PM at the Pancoast Funeral Home, 676 S. Main Rd., Vineland, NJ, after which a time of remembrance will be conducted at 12:30PM. Cremation and Inurnment will be private. For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the Ambler Olympic Club, P.O. Box 275, Ambler, PA 19002-0275. To e-mail condolences and or tributes, please visit

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Published in The Reporter from May 4 to May 5, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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35 entries
October 18, 2012
I ran with Mel at Gwynnedd. I was looking to reconnect with Mel and had been searching for her online for years. I came across this news today. Mel was my idol growing up. My prayers are with you.
Linda Cherry
October 8, 2012
I was deeply saddened to learn of Mel's passing. We became fast friends at UNC in 1990, and she brought lots of laughter and light to my life--then and through the years every time I thought of her.
Sarah Lightfoot Cooley
October 7, 2012
I was a friend of hers at UNC. Mel was truly a special person and my life is definitely richer for having known her. My condolences to her family.
Peter Smith
September 2, 2012
This coming Wednesday, Mel would have been 40 years old. What a sad, tragic end for our friend...
J Oyler
July 30, 2012
Melissa was a dear friend. We met in Chapel Hill in 1991 and kept in touch throughout the years.

She was a sweet soul and will be missed by many.
July 30, 2012
July 29, 2012
I was a classmate at UNC. She was so kind to me. Condolences to all who loved her.
Michelle Raiford
July 7, 2012
Two months have passed and I am still reeling from the fact that Melissa is gone. She was more than just a sweet girl: she was a saint. I will forever miss her kind smile, gentle spirit, and loving ways.
Marc Minsker
July 1, 2012
Dear Mary Ann and Jim,

My family continue to think about you, and the loss of Melissa. I hope you are finding comfort with the help of friends and family. You are in my prayers.
Lisa Marie Russo
May 27, 2012
Jim and MaryAnn, I'm so sorry. I remember Melissa jogging around the neighborhood on Caroline Dr. My prayers and sympathies go out to you both.
Bob Ormsby
May 26, 2012
Dear Mary Ann, Jim, Kim and Jimmy,
There are no words to say how sorry we are to hear of your loss... I remember Melissa as such a sweet and loving girl. I say girl because I remember her jogging with her dad and coming over to try and get her hair permed but I could not help her because mine was natual... Always sweet memeries. Please know our love and prayers are with you and we are here if you want to talk or need anything. Love
Mary Ann and Brian Schnur
Mary Ann Schnur
May 26, 2012
May 10, 2012
So tragic to hear of the loss of a fellow Gwynedd Mercy High School graduate. Hoping your family finds peace and comfort in each other, and know that Melissa is in good hands. You are in the GMA community's prayers.
Gwynedd Mercy Grad
May 10, 2012
Melissa was a loving and gentle soul a rare combination in today's world. I vividly remember the day I gathered at your home for women's group. A banquet of food and laughter filled the home as Melissa made special time for everyone. She was so kind that was her way. I exent my deepest condolences to The entire Benner Family as you remain in my prayers. Know that she was loved by many. I was privileged to call her "my friend."
Joan Caldwell
May 8, 2012
Mary Ann, Jim & Family,
We are deeply saddened for you on the loss of your daughter, Melissa. Hopefully, you will find solace in your "Treasured Memories".
Sally & John Kashatus
May 8, 2012
I grew up with Melissa, although she was a year older than me. We grew up in Norris Hills together.... My sympathy goes out to her family. She was such a nice girl.....and will greatly be missed.
Eileen Holroyd
May 7, 2012
I am so sorry for your loss. I went to grade school with Mel. She was a beautiful, funny girl that I was glad to know. She will be missed. Judy
May 7, 2012
Mr and Mrs Benner,
Thank you for bringing such a beautiful person into this world. I will miss her forever.
May 7, 2012
My heart goes out to you at this time. Mel brought such joy, laughter and sweet sincerity to the UNC Track Team. I will always remember her smile.
Go Heels! RIP Mel
Jaci Field (UNC)
May 7, 2012
No bond is as great as that between a parent and child. Our deepest condolences are with you as you grieve. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help at this time. May you feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Cumberland County Library staff
May 7, 2012
I was so sad to see Mel's name and the obit. We were neighbors when Mel was growing up and I remember watching her and her dad jogging and training together as a young teenage girl

This is so sad and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the family.
Jeff Sweeney
May 7, 2012
My sincerest condolences,
Melissa Goldsborough
May 7, 2012
To the Benner family. My condolenses on your loss. I wont say that I undedrstand because i dont. Such a senseless loss of a young life. Prayers are with you. I dont know you or her but i knkow wha i have felt in my own loss. Stay strong and be blessed.
May 7, 2012
Dear Benner family:
I was sad to hear about Mel's passing. I ran against her in high school and Ambler Olympic Club. She was a talented runner and motivated me to always do my best! She always had a smile on her face and made everyone laugh. She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.
Tricia Cattani
May 7, 2012
There are no words to ease the pain in the loss of your daughter. I will always remember Mel from the AOC and the trips we made with her and the great runner she was. Jim, you were always there cheering for all the runners. We had some great trips together. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Sincerely, Carol and Roger Galford.
May 7, 2012
There are no words to ease the pain in the loss of your daughter. I will always remember Mel from the AOC and the trips we made with her and the great runner she was. Jim, you were always there cheering for all the runners. We had some great trips together. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Sincerely, Carol and Roger Galford.
May 7, 2012
Dear Benner Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Melissa was such a wonderful and dedicated friend. Jessica and I will never forget her genuine warmth and kindness. We first met when I worked with her at ELS Santa Monica around 1998, and we soon after became great friends. She will always be in our hearts and is dearly missed. Much love,
Eoin (Owen)
Eoin Kavanagh
May 6, 2012
To the Benner Family,

I am sorry for your loss. She will be missed.
Adrienne Ashton-Nwude
May 6, 2012
So sorry for your loss... Mel and I were on the track team together at Carolina. Funny girl.
Shannon Davenport
May 6, 2012
To the Benner Family,

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I always admired Mel for her honesty and loved her smile and humor. She helped me through home sickness during the first few weeks at UNC - laughing together in our small dormroom was just what I needed. Thank you.
Andrea Green LaMoreaux
May 6, 2012
To the Benner family,
We are so very sorry for your loss.
Reacelyn and Harry
Reacelyn Quinn
May 6, 2012
I grew up with Mel and spent a lot of time with her. She was always sweet, funny and gifted. Though I have not seen her since we finished grade school, I remember her with great fondness. My sincerest condolences go out to her family.
Jeanine Squillace-Doering
May 5, 2012
So sorry to hear of the tragic passing of Mel. She always had a way of making people laugh and smile even in her younger days in our great Roberts Park neighborhood. I still can picture her jogging through the neighborhood with her dad jogging right with her.
Thoughts and prayers are with your family..
Chrissy Bunner
May 5, 2012
Dear Cousins, It was very sad to hear of your loss of Melissa. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Mary Margaret Kashatus
May 5, 2012
Melissa was such a sweet girl. We worked together for Crossmark at the Williamstown Sam's Club. Not one day went by where Melissa did not pay someone a compliment or say something positive to you. I never heard a harsh word from her about anyone. She loved her family and spoke of her parents often. I had often wondered why Melissa came to work at Sam's, but now I believe she was there to touch all of our lives in very special ways. I will remember her with love and affection and miss her always. She truly was a very loving person and I think I can speak for all of us who worked with her and knew her, We Love you and We Miss you and May God Bless you for all the good you gave us. God Speed "Mel" Love, Cheryl
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