We say good bye to a special mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend, Mary Benson.
Mary lived a full life, always connected with family. Oldest of seven children born to Sam and Kathryn, the Walyer household worked together to run a successful bakery even during the depression and World War II. At night and on weekends, Mary played accordion accompanied by her sister Francis on the drums and her mother on the violin, as part of an all-girl band that was in demand for weddings and parties.
Fresh maple bars in the family bakery drew in Clyde Benson, working at the neighboring JC Penney’s store in Wapato. Over coffee and donuts, Mary and Clyde found love and were soon married. Together they raised a son, Jerry, and twin girls, Sheila and Sharon. Clyde’s career with Penney’s took the family to Santa Rosa, California. Eventually, the couple retired back to Yakima to be closer to friends and family.
Mary and Clyde loved to entertain. Friends stopping in for coffee and Mary’s homemade treats were a common occurrence in their household. After Clyde passed in 2001, Mary continued to live independently in their home into her nineties, frequently hosting visits from her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Mary passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the age of 103, joining her beloved husband Clyde, her parents Sam and Kathryn Walyer, and her siblings Francis Underwood, Christina Bergamini, Tony Walyer, Andy Walyer, and Edward Walyer. She was loved and will be missed by many including her sister Barbara Chouinard, her children: Jerry Benson, Sharon Jonsson, and Sheila Lawton, many nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and her great grandchildren, relatives, and friends. Special appreciation goes to the Highgate staff for their exceptional compassion and loving care.
A memorial service will be held Monday, March 11th at 10:00 AM at Rainier Memorial Center, 2807 Terrace Heights Drive, Yakima, WA 98901.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests a donation be made to your favorite charity.