2013-04-04 / Obituaries

Clara M. Benwill

JOHNSON CITY, Texas – Clara May Benwill entered eternal life in Johnson City, Texas, on March 18, 2013. She was 91 years old.

Clara was born in Manistique, Mich., on May 9, 1921. Her parents were John William and Anna May Walker Ring. Clara was the oldest of seven children born of this union. During WWII she married Clifford J. Benwill and they lived in Rockford, Ore., and then Mt. Morris, Ill. They ran a small grocery store in Oregon, and then a deli/ice cream shop in Mt. Morris. Because two of their children were recovering from polio, they made a move to Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1953.

Clara worked for several law enforcement agencies once the family got settled in Texas. Her first job was secretary to the Corpus Christi Chief of Police. Later she worked for the deputy director of Region 3, Texas State Highway Patrol. After the family moved to Weslaco, Texas, Clara worked for the border patrol in McAllen and Port Isabel, Texas. In 1963, the family moved to Austin, Texas, where she worked in various Department of Defense agencies at Bergstrom Air Force Base until she retired in 1985. No matter where she lived, she and Clifford were active in the Catholic Church community, especially enjoying the Knights of Columbus and the Ladies Guild.

Clara is survived by her four children, daughters, Beverly (David) Strohmeyer of McAllen, Barbara (Joseph) Schohn of Philadelphia, Pa., Brenda (James) DeWitt of Austin; and son, James (Jill) Benwill of Johnson City, Texas. Clara had 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Earl Ring of Gulliver, Mich., Elvera Beal of Leander, Texas, Leona Gailbreath of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Arlene Stratton of DeKalb, Ill. Clara was a descendent of the George Walker family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford, her parents, and siblings, Clifford Ring and Eleanor Brock.

Clara’s family is grateful to the LBJ Medical Facility (Johnson City) nurses, aides, and director, Billie, who took care of mom when we couldn’t. Services for Clara were private, and interment will be in McAllen, at a later date. Herrell’s Funeral Home in Dripping Springs, Texas, was in charge of the arrangements.

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