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
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
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.