The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


July 12, 2014

Marion Jeanne McManus Benson

Sept. 27, 1934 - July 19, 2013

- — A memorial service will be held Monday for Marion Jeanne McManus Benson, who passed away peacefully of natural causes on July 19, 2013, in Mechanicsburg, Pa. She was 78.

Born in the former Buhl Hospital, Sharon, on Sept. 27, 1934, she was the older of two children born to Harold “Hon” and Frances McManus of Sharon.

Jeanne attended St. Joseph Elementary School, Sharon, and graduated from Sharon High School in 1953. She was an active member of the former Girls Buhl Club. A member of the swim team, she earned many trophies.

After high school, she attended St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing, Erie, graduating in 1956. Her first position as a registered nurse was as a visiting nurse in Erie. She graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

She married Donald Benson in June 14, 1957, in St. Joseph Church, Sharon. They had three children: Dawn, Julie, and Mark.

After moving to Attica, N.Y., she was a medical and surgical nurse and then a beloved school nurse teacher at Sheldon Elementary School, Attica, for 35 years.

She suffered a devastating auto accident in 1987 that altered her lifestyle but not her faith, spirit and zest for life. The doctors told her she would never walk again but her willpower and faith proved them wrong.

Joseph Sharp, her son-in-law, gave these loving words in his eulogy: “She was incredibly strong and brave.”

Her childhood friends, St. Vincent nurse mates, her students and all those whose lives she touched will remember her joy for life, a kind, beautiful and charming human being. She was fiercely independent, smart, caring and determined and the epitome of self-sufficiency.   

Jeanne loved to travel. Nothing held her back as she adventured into whitewater rafting, a helicopter ride to the glaciers of Alaska, climbing out on the rocks of the Amalfi Coast in Italy and swimming in the surf of St. Maarten. Her hobbies were oil painting, aerobics, dancing in her younger life, and knitting.

She leaves behind to cherish her memory: her two daughters, Julie A. Benson, Mechanicsburg; and Dawn “Debbie” B. Sharp and her husband Joseph, with whom she had a special bond, and two grandsons, Nick and Sam Sharp, all of Potomac Falls, Va.; her brother Michael, Miami; and a cousin, Maureen McManus, Hermitage.  

Preceding her in death were her parents and a son, Mark.

Condolences may be sent to Dawn and Joseph Sharp, 47457 Middle Bluff Place, Potomac Falls, VA 20165-3102, and Julie A. Benson, 59 Warwick Circle, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050-2653.  

Doctors Without Borders is the chosen charity for memorials in Jeanne’s name.

A celebration of life committal memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 14, 2014, in St. Mary’s Cemetery Chapel, Hermitage, with the Rev. Glenn Whitman, pastor of St. Joseph Church, Sharon, officiating.

A celebration of life service was held July 25, 2013, in St. Matthew Episcopal Church, Sterling, Va.

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