Obituary of Elna R. Benson
COLUMBIA - Elna R. (Darrah) Benson, LCDR, NC, USN (Ret.), resident of Columbia, SC, passed away on May 31, 2020 at the age of 79 years.
Born February 5, 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama, Elna was the daughter of the late Estell Howell Darrah Gammon and Howard L. Darrah. She is a graduate of Choctawhatchee High School (Ft. Walton Beach, FL), Mobile Infirmary School of Nursing (Mobile, Alabama), and the University of South Carolina School of Nursing (BS).
Elna joined the U.S. Navy in 1965 and proudly served the United States for 20 years. She was stationed in Portsmouth, VA; Yokosuka, Japan; Long Beach, CA; Pensacola, FL and finished her career in Charleston, SC. In 1977, while attending the University of SC and serving in the Navy, she met her husband of 32 years Ramon H. Benson (deceased). Upon her Navy retirement in 1985, she worked part-time at Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital for two years and as a third-party auditor for health insurance.
A member of Kilbourne Park Baptist Church, she greatly appreciated her pastor Terry Smoak, the minister of music and outreach Craig Duesing, and fellowship with congregants. Elna was blessed to have excellent caregivers and wanted to acknowledge the services of RetireEASE Senior Services, especially Taj Police; Lisa Spiegel; and Ronetta Testamark. She enjoyed arts, crafts, gardening, and games that challenged her mind. Constantly nearby, her shih tzu “Zhu Zhu” brought her many years of joy and love.
Elna is survived and sadly missed by two half-brothers John S. Gammon (Adena) and Wyly E. Gammon (Candy); nephews Caleb Gammon and John H. Gammon; one stepchild Jonathan Michael Benson; step-grandchildren Richard Gary (Nikki), Lisa Dinkins (Rod) and Elizabeth Tager; and five great-grandchildren Shawn Gary, Haley and Erik Dinkins and Savannah and Bayley Tager. She was predeceased by her beloved stepdaughter Linda J. (Benson) Smoak.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 11:00 am in the Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn Memorial Park Chapel, 845 Leesburg Rd. Columbia, SC 29209. The family will receive friends beginning at 10:15 am. A private interment will be held in Fort Jackson National Cemetery on Friday, June 5, 2020.
Memorial donations may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, online or by mail at Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society; Attn: Development; 875 N. Randolph Street, Ste. 225; Arlington, VA 22203, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, online or by mail at Wounded Warrior Project; PO Box 758517; Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517.
Thompson Funeral Home at Greenlawn is assisting the family. Please sign the online guestbook at thompsonsfuneral.com.
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