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Barbara Benefield

| March 21, 2007 12:00 AM

Barbara M. Benefield, 62, of Libby died Thursday, March 15, 2007, from cancer.

She was born May 1, 1944, in Richwood, W.Va., to Woodrow Ward and Mary Lou Roberts Ward.

Barb came here with her family in 1955, living in Rexford and then moved to Libby, where she remained for 52 years.

She married Donald "Don" C. Benefield on June 17, 1961.

Barb planted trees for the U.S. Forest Service, worked as a clerk at area businesses and was later employed throughout the state by Alpine Construction as a flagger.

Remembered especially during her illness for her positive, life-giving attitude, Barb was a devoted wife and mother, a doting grandmother and a "neighborhood mother."

She had been an avid collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia and Fenton Ware and enjoyed being outdoors, especially when she and Don went to get firewood.

Barb was preceded in death by her father; a brother, Bub Ward, in 1997; and her sister-in-law, Helen Ward, who died several hours before her on Thursday.

Surviving is her husband; her mother; children Sheri Edwards and her husband, David, Michele Kessel, Scott Benefield, Donald Benefield and his wife, Muha, and "adopted son," Chris Lambert, all of Libby, and Dawn Lynn Braaten and her husband, Kerry, of Laurel; 11 grandchildren; a sister, Helen Brickey and her husband, Lloyd, of Deer Park, Wash; her mother-in-law, Leona Benefield, and brother-in-law David Benefield and his wife Gayla, all of Libby; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services were held Tuesday at Libby Christian Church with interment at the City of Libby Cemetery. Visitation was Monday at Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.