Tommie Jo Benner, 74, was received in the hands of our Heavenly Father, with her family by her side, on December 27, 2012 after losing her brave battle with lymphoma. "Jo", as referred to by her loving husband of forty seven years, lived with her family in San Marcos since 1972.
She was born November 29, 1938 in San Angelo, Texas to Homer Smith and Ethel Ford. Her mother passed away when Jo was a young child so she was raised by her father and then lived with her grandparents in Academy, Texas where she graduated high school in 1956. Jo became an LVN and worked at many area hospitals including King's Daughters and Scott & White in Temple, St. David's in Austin, and Hays Memorial in San Marcos.
She met her husband, Eugene Benner, in 1963 and they were married on August 28, 1965. They lived in Temple, Texas and later moved to Canyon, Texas while Gene attended West Texas State. Before starting their family they enjoyed spending time together in the great outdoors visiting area natural parks and reserves including the Palo Dura Canyon. Gene and Tommie moved to San Marcos in 1972 where they started their family shortly after. Jo gave up nursing to devote her time entirely to her family when she had her son, Brian, and later her daughter, Margaret.
Jo is remembered by her family and friends as a dedicated caregiver. She would always ensure everyone around her was taken care of to the best of her ability, and often times placed their well being above her own. Her children always knew she was their biggest advocate and that she was always there for them throughout life's challenges as a tremendous support. Jo also had a strong faith in Christianity which helped guide her in life and gave her an inner strength she shared with others. She was a lifelong learner and always enjoyed reading and gathering knowledge to share with her family. She spent a great deal of her time outdoors where she liked bird watching, gardening and even fishing with her husband and son.
She was a treasured grandmother to her granddaughter, Kimberly, who she adored. They spent a great deal of time together and Jo enjoyed helping Kim with her many activities and was definitely one of Kim's biggest supporters.
Jo was truly a central part of her family's lives and will be deeply missed. They will always cherish their memories together and she will remain a guiding force and constant companion in their future. She is survived by her husband, Gene Benner, her son Brian Benner, her daughter Margaret Donnelly and her granddaughter Kimberly Donnelly all of San Marcos.
We know Jo would want to thank the wonderful nursing staff at Seton Hays who actually made her hospital stays pleasant, and the oncology team with The Seton Family of Doctors Hays. Her family also thanks all the friends and family who paid a visit, brought a dish, or shared a story with us after Jo's passing. Your support and kind words were a great comfort to all of us.
Graveside services will be held at the San Marcos Cemetery on Friday January 11, 2013 at 11:00 for all of those who would like to attend.