Gertrude Atherton Benton 1916 - 2020

Our mom, Gertrude Atherton Benton, died Monday, February 17, 2020. The matriarch of our family was born January 31, 1916, and was raised by her dad after the untimely death of her mom in early life. She grew up in a single-parent household with her brother, David, in rural Washington and eastern Oregon. She said they did just fine.

Their family was self-sufficient, went through the Great Depression, and Grammy said it was hard, but they did just fine.

Gertrude M. Atherton married Elmo S. Benton, from Caney, Kentucky. He was trained as a surveyor in the CCCs. They moved a lot, living in isolated dam sites, and she said they did just fine. Two daughters arrived, five years apart, during the relocations, and as Elmo advanced in the construction industry, they did just fine.

The Second World War saw her brother Dave assigned to the European Theater as a medic, and he returned safe and sound. The world was ultimately better off and she noted that they did just fine.

Living through Chernobyl, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Mutually Assured Nuclear Annihilation, Grammy said they did just fine. There was 9/11, marriages of the girls, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, more geographic disbursement of close family members and their own relocation to British Columbia for work, and she said they did just fine.

Gertrude’s 104th birthday was celebrated at the end of January this year with a small group of her beloved extended family. One of the grandkids said in passing, “Look what you started," and she allowed, as it was just fine.

Monday afternoon was difficult, however; she passed away without pain, in her sleep, surrounded by loving family and the caring staff of Willamette Valley Medical Center. Both daughters held her hands, and she knew it. The family mourns her loss; we will miss her, but have concluded that everything is just fine.

In accordance with their wishes, we will have a family interment of Elmo's and Gertrude’s ashes at the Masonic Cemetery in the Spring.
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