Lois Bennett

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lois F.M. Bennett
WAVERLY—Lois Florence Monahan Bennett, 81, wife of Gordon C. Bennett, died April 24, 2009, in their Waverly home after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Born Oct. 6, 1927, in New York City, she was the daughter of Joseph Patrick Aloysius Monahan and the former Florence Veronica O’Connor.
In 1948, she married Gordon, her husband of 60 years. A lifelong Catholic, Lois was at various times a parishioner of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Petersburg; the Church of the Sacred Heart in New Bohemia; Our Lady of Peace at Fort Lee, where she served as president of the Catholic Women of the Chapel; and The Shrine of the Infant of Prague in Wakefield, where she taught CCD classes, ironed the altar linens, and lovingly tended the flowers that she would bring in from her own garden.
Mrs. Bennett was a homemaker par excellence and devoted to her family. Nonetheless during her long life she cultivated many interests and accomplished much. Before her marriage, she was a model, appearing in print and on television. Lois was a founding member and vice-president of the Traveler’s Chapter of the Virginia Writers’ Club, receiving a lifetime achievement award in 2002. She was also a founding member of the American Needlework Society, and would often lend her talents with the crochet hook to various charitable organizations, knitting hats for premature infants and cancer patients, helmet pads for the troops in Iraq, and turning out afghans for church raffles.
She was a booster of Saint Joseph School in Petersburg where seven of her children were educated, serving for a time as leader of a local Brownie troop.
She devoted much time and energy to the Miles B. Carpenter Museum in Waverly, where she served on the board of directors, taught etiquette classes, and gave occasional tea parties for school children.
In addition, she worked tirelessly as an advocate for children with special needs in Sussex County, and was a volunteer for the Sarah Bonwell Hudgins School in Williamsburg.
She established a mail order stamp business with her husband Gordon and was also primary editor for his many literary endeavors.
The family lived for a time in Germany where two of her children were born. In her later years, she visited Portugal, Ireland, England, France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic, always remembering to pick up souvenirs for the grandchildren.
She was an accomplished painter, specializing in still lifes, an avid gardener, a wonderfully creative cook, and an oenophile, known for her enjoyment of wine right up till the end.
She was predeceased by her son, Gregory N. Bennett, and is survived by five daughters, Liane L. Bennett, Jannequin M. Bennett, Hilary J. Bennett, Kyryn S. Bennett and her husband Kenneth Gee, and Meaghan M. Bennett, two sons Damian G. Bennett and Christian A. Bennett and his wife Sheila, one grandson, James C. Bennett, four granddaughters, Miranda Jane Bennett, Olivia Bennett Gee, Pearl Bennett Gee and Theresa A. Bennett, and her sister-in-law, Mary Ellen Monahan.
Visitations are on today from 1 to 4 p.m. at Purviance Chapel of J.T. Morriss Funeral Home, 11414 General Mahone Highway, Wakefield VA 23888
The wake will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening.
The funeral is at noon on Thursday at The Shrine of the Infant of Prague, 417 N. County Drive, also in Wakefield, across from the Virginia Diner.