Irene Beni, 93, of Fayetteville, died Jan. 14, 2013, surrounded by her loving family and caretaker.
Born Aug. 18, 1919, in Radford, Va., she was the daughter of the late Grat Berkley and Ethel Lena Smith Hartsock. She also was preceded in death by her husband, Felix; her sister, Ruth Hurley; and brother, Grat Berkley Hartsock Jr.
After graduating at the age of 19 from Radford University, Irene taught for a couple years before marrying her husband, Felix. Having moved to Fayetteville to set up housekeeping, they soon began their family and Felix opened Benwick Feed and Supply Store and Irene became their bookkeeper. Unfortunately, In 1961 Irene was suddenly widowed and found herself running the business.
Several years passed and she returned to her teaching profession in the Fayette County public school system. While teaching and still raising her youngest daughter, she earned her Master’s in Education from Marshall University.
Irene was also an active member in her community. She enjoyed singing in the Fayetteville and Beckley community choirs as well as the Fayetteville United Methodist Church choir where she attended over 60 years. She was a member of the Fine Arts Council in Oak Hill, past president of the Vandalia Garden Club and also the Fayette County Garden Council, past president of the Art League, and a member of the Red Hat Society. She also was actively involved in the Fayette Study Club and was the former treasurer for the Fayette County Humane Society.
Irene left her daughters lasting gifts; a strong love for beauty and the arts; whether it be music, love of animals, growing or arranging flowers, sewing, painting or creating: all those intangible gifts that enrich one’s life; but most of all, she left them with a good set of values, self-reliance and a strong moral compass.
Like ripples from a stone thrown in still water, she will continue to make a difference in their lives and the world around them. Her grandchildren continue to reap the benefits through love of the arts. She will be sorely missed by her family but will remain in their hearts. Her life in this world made a difference and has left a lasting footprint.
Surviving: daughters, Felice Jorgeson and her husband, Kent, of Parkersburg, Theresa Stanley and her husband, Vernon, of Fayetteville, and Annette DeVito and her husband, Tom, of Raleigh, N.C.; grandchildren, Rene Jorgeson, Courtney Stanley, Cameron Stanley, Nicholas DeVito, Angelina DeVito; and one great-grandson, Jack Jorgeson.
Memorial services were Jan. 19 at Oak Hill United Methodist Church. Private burial graveside rites were at Huse Memorial Park, Fayetteville, with Dr. Charles Miller officiating.
Contributions may be made in her memory to the New River Humane Society, PO Box 955, Fayetteville, WV 25840.
Online condolences may be made at www.doddpaynehessfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville.
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