Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Elaine Emily Benson

Elaine Benson, age 88, passed away peacefully on February 14, 2014. Born in Breckenridge, Oklahoma on the Kindt family farm, she was a 44-year resident of Valencia, CA.

She had a rich life full of family, friendship, music, and service to others. Her creativity and energy led her to many careers and callings, and she was constantly reinventing herself and exploring new directions. To all those who knew her, she was vibrant and stylish, clever, caring and gracious. The ultimate optimist, she was an inspiration to so many.

Elaine graduated from Garber High School in Oklahoma and attended Phillips University, where she was a member of the Phillips Trio which toured surrounding states and performed for the USO, Veterans Hospitals, and at War Bond rallies. In her sophomore year she starred as the Banfield Sweetheart on a 15-minute daily radio show on KCRC sponsored by the Banfield Packing Co. out of Chicago.

In 1946 she moved to San Diego after a family vacation to visit her brother Lynn who was stationed at the naval base there. She worked as a secretary at Scripps Memorial Hospital in nearby La Jolla, and enjoyed singing with a band in a San Diego lounge till the summer of 1947, when her parents and other brothers moved from Oklahoma to Van Nuys, CA. She secured a secretarial position at Aviation Maintenance Corporation there, and later worked as Executive Secretary in the Burbank School District.

She met Jim Benson when her family joined First Lutheran Church in Van Nuys, and they were married in in January of 1951. During her years in Van Nuys she chose to remain at home to raise her two daughters, Julie and Robin, but was actively involved in volunteer work, and also enjoyed a brief modeling career.

When they moved to Valencia in 1970 she became manager of a personnel agency before being offered the position of manager of the Valencia Hills Homeowners Association, a position she held for 20 years.

Also during that time she recorded books for the blind, started a fashion accessorizing business called "Pull Yourself Together," volunteered in the Human Resources department for the 1984 Olympics, and did a short stint as a newscaster on the local radio station.

In June of 1992, Elaine and Jim both retired and traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad. After retirement she also served as a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, formed and oversaw a support group at Christ Lutheran Church called "Widow’s Might," and tutored people learning English.

Elaine is survived by her daughters Julie Benson Krumrine and Robin Benson, and grandsons Duncan and Griffin. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Jim, and her brother, John Kindt.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at Christ Lutheran Church, 25816 North Tournament Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

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