Mary Jean Benson

Resided in Escanaba, MI
Died January 8th, 2016

Mary Jean Benson, 95, Escanaba, passed away on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at her home.

She was born in Escanaba on July 8, 1920, daughter of the late Paul and Marie (Jaeger) Rademacher.

Mary Jean graduated from St. Joseph High School.

She met and married Grant Benson while in the service. He preceded her in death after only a few years of marriage.

After high school she attended nursing school in Milwaukee until she joined the United States Army for four years. Mary Jean then enlisted in the United States Air Force. She served during WWII and was a pioneer in the now common use of the I.V.

She was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award. She was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving nearly 28 years on April 30, 1971.

Mary Jean was a member of St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church. Every summer, she secretly donated gladiolas to decorate the alter which she enjoyed.

Her nieces and nephews fondly remember her stating that she was “Ornery as ever.” She often greeted them with saying, “How are you doing, b-r-a-t?”

She is survived by three brothers, John Rademacher of North Fort Meyers, FL, David (Sue) Rademacher of St. Paul, MN, and Robert Rademacher of Fond du Lac, WI; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary Jean was preceded in death by her parents and seven brothers and sisters.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church in Escanaba. A meal will follow in the church hall.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Bensons.

3 Tributes to “Mary Jean Benson”

  1. We are very sorry for your loss and our condolences to all. The pain of death can be overwhelming no matter what the age. The Bible provides comfort during difficult times. We are promised at 1 Corinthians 15:26 that very soon “death will be brought to nothing.” Then we have the prospect of being reunited with our loved ones right here on earth. (Psalm 37:10, 11) We hope this brings you comfort and hope.

  2. Mary holds a special place in my husband’s heart. She has been a patron of the place he works for, for many years. Every time she came in for an appt. she would bring him some fudge. She would ask for him and check on how he was doing and ask about how our daughter was doing. She was a very special person and our family will always fondly remember “the fudge lady”. Rest in peace Mary Benson

  3. On Behalf of the Society of Air Force Nurses, please know that we are also mourning with you the passing of our friend and colleague, Lieutenant Colonel Mary Jean Benson. You are not alone in remembering a truly wonderful person who made a difference in the lives of so many. A donation will be made in her honor to the Women In Military Service for America Memorial which stands at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery. Mary Jean will be missed, and she will not be forgotten by her Air Force Nursing Family.
    Linda J. Stierle, Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)

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