Patricia Joan Benner, age 84, of Moraga, California, passed away May 18, 2018 after an 11-year courageous battle with lung cancer. Patricia was born February 13, 1934, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Winslow Alvin and Stella Clara (Gitz) Snyder. Pat grew up in the nearby town of East Greenville where her father was the local veterinarian and where Pat developed an interest in the medical profession and her love for animals.
In high school, Pat excelled academically and met her sweetheart and future husband, Paul Erdman Benner. As high school sweethearts, their yearbook photos read Pat’s future address was “with Paul”; Paul’s read, “likes ice skating, swimming and Pat.” After high school, Pat took up clerical positions in doctor’s offices and decided to pursue a career in the medical field. She applied for college and was accepted into the nursing program at Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she graduated in 1958. Shortly thereafter, she was selected for a top nursing position with the prestigious John Hopkins Hospital, School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland.
Eventually, Pat and Paul rekindled their courtship and Paul proposed on July 4 and were married on September 17, 1960 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Throughout their marriage, they moved extensively as Paul’s career advanced and they embraced each assignment, established themselves in the community and were able to travel the world while raising a family. Some of Pat’s favorite activities included: bridge parties, sewing/knitting, sailing, museum outings, and wine tasting.
Throughout 52 years of marriage, they enjoyed living in many places across the country and abroad. Their adventure began in Massena, New York; then off to Little Rock, Arkansas; where they welcomed their firstborn, Joanne Carol, and eventually arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - all the while Pat continued her nursing profession. After their second child, Edward Alan, the family relocated to Perth, Australia. Three years later they returned to Pittsburgh once again and had their third child, Robert Andrew. Seven years later, they packed up again and headed south to Mexico City, Mexico; back to Pittsburgh for one year; and then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1983, the Benner’s returned to Pittsburgh one last time and moved to El Paso, Texas in 1988. Paul ended his extensive career in Los Angeles, California and retired in 1996. Pat also continued her education and graduated with a 4-year nursing degree from the University of Texas, El Paso.
In retirement, Pat and Paul moved to Prescott, Arizona in 1997 and remained there until 2013. During retirement, Pat continued to work at the local hospital, volunteered in many community service projects and indulged in her other passion, painting. She officially retired in 2006.
After Paul’s passing in 2013, Pat relocated to Moraga, California and resided with her daughter’s family and even had a few more adventures including attending one of her bucket list items - the Kentucky Derby.
Patricia is survived by her daughter, Joanne C. Home and husband, Douglas and their three children, Cameron, Lindsey, and Alec of Moraga, California; sons, Edward A. Benner and wife, Christine and their two children, Sara and Rachel of Rowlett, Texas and Robert A. Benner and wife, Gretchen and their three children Courtney, Megan, and Ryan of McKinney, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sister, Mary Elizabeth Howe.
She will live in our hearts forever.
A graveside memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, July 1, 2018 at Ridgeview Memorial Park in Allen, Texas. Family and friends are invited to Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home at their convenience on Sunday, July 1, 2018 to pay their respects and to sign the register book.
Memorial donations can be made in Patricia's name at the following organizations:
ASPCA –American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Lung Cancer Research, American Cancer Society.