Ilona Anna Szabari Bencze
Ilona Anna Szabari Bencze

Ilona Anna Szabari Bencze died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006, in Dothan, Ala.

She was born Aug. 11, 1919 in Budapest, Hungary. She held dual citizenships in the United States and Hungary. She had been a resident of Dothan since 1977.

A memorial Mass will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 at St. Columba Catholic Church with Father Patrick Gallagher officiating. Burial will follow in Budapest, Hungary, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to be given to St. Columba Catholic Church, "Capital Campaign Fund," 2700 W. Main St., Dothan, AL 36301.

Mrs. Bencze moved with her husband, Miklos Bencze, to the United States from Budapest, Hungary in 1957. Miklos Bencze was a well-known opera singer and was artist-in-residence at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., and finally at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala. Mrs. Bencze's life was devoted to supporting and promoting her beloved husband's career.

She was proud of her privilege to vote and was a staunch Republican. She was a charter member of the Republican Women's Club in Dothan. She organized the Senior Citizen Women's Bowling League in Dothan. Mrs. Bencze was a faithful member of St. Columba Catholic Church.

Survivors include a niece, Zita Kerekes and three great nephews, Tibor Kerekes, Fsolt Kerekes, and Miklos Peter Kerekes, all of Budapest, Hungary. She leaves many friends including the staff and residents of The Terrace at Grove Park and faculty at George Wallace College. She will be missed by all.

Byrd Funeral Home of Dothan, (334) 793-3003, is in charge of the arrangements.

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Published by Dothan Eagle from Jan. 26 to Jan. 29, 2006.
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6 Entries
In 1961 and 1962, Mr. and Mrs. Bencze lived about a block away from my family in Waco, Texas.
Clifton McLendon
Neighbor
July 30, 2017
I never met Mrs. Bencze, but I knew her husband from when I was a child. He was my mother's voice teacher as Wallace. He had a great impact on my life and I'm sure that they are together laughing and loving each other as I'm sure they did here on Earth. My sympathy to her family and all her friends that knew her well.
Melanie (Bone) Jenkins
February 8, 2006
Even though I did not know Mrs. Bencze personally I have dealt with her over the years. She truely was a special person and I am positive she will be missed by many. I know she will enjoy her afterlife with her beloved husband.
Ivy Hatcher
January 26, 2006
She was a fine lady and dear friend. She and her husband meant so much to this community. They now are together forever.

Her cheery smile and greeting will be sorely missed.

Earth's loss is Heaven's gain. Rest in Peace, dear friend.
Nita Hogg
January 26, 2006
We will miss Ilona here at The Terrace. There is much sadness at her passing.
Beverly Howard
January 26, 2006
Mrs. Bencze was a delightful person to know. I feel priviledged to have met her and her husband. I loved to hear her talk about their life experiences in Europe and the U.S. She and her husband are now together making beautiful music as part of the Heavenly Host.
Susan Tatom
January 26, 2006