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Anita Benefiel Sweeten

August 11, 1949 June 21, 2019

Stayton - Anita, 69, of Mehama died June 21st in a traffic accident. Anita was born August 11th, 1949, in McMinnville, the oldest child of Curtis F. Benefiel and Eva Benefiel (McBee). She grew up in the Willamette Valley, attended grade school in Dayton, high school at Central in Monmouth, and then graduated from Stayton high school in 1967. She was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Chicago, which she attended for a couple of years before returning to Oregon.

Upon her return, Anita held a variety of jobs. She managed an alternative foods program at Chemeketa Community College teaching vegetarian cooking classes. She worked at the Oregon State School for the Blind, the Garten Foundation and eventually for the United States Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for more than 20 years. She loved that her work as a mail carrier allowed her to drive the beautiful rural roads of Oregon and she enjoyed the people she met delivering their mail.

Anita found deep community and connection at the Oregon Country Fair, both as a member of the food booth Phoenix Rising, and later as a fair Elder. She loved her fair family and was looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the OCF this year.

Anita loved to feed people and care for others. If she was in your corner, she was behind you 110%. She enjoyed gardening, reading, singing, and being in the wilderness. She worked hard to instill a love of nature and the Pacific Northwest in her children.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother, and is survived by her daughters, Toia Norris (Eric), and Elani Pullman, and grandchildren Curtis and Max Norris all of Portland, brothers, Kelly Benefiel (Donna) of Stayton,  and Rex Benefiel (Deborah) of Salem, and sister, Annie Koenig (Bob) of Stayton, a large extended family, and her beloved cat Lilly.

A celebration of life will be held on 8/11/19 from 1:00-2:30 at Minto Brown Island Park. To honor her memory, plant pollinator-friendly plants, or make a meal for loved ones. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.


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