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.