Graveside services for Iva Marie Benton, 95, of Farmersville will be held on Wednesday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at Exeter District Cemetery. Visitation was held on June 29 at Evans-Miller Chapel of Exeter. She died on June 23 in Visalia.
She was born May 23, 1909 in Masher, Mo. to Andy and Sara Miller. She attended schools in Bryant, Mo., where her father operated a grocery store and post office. In 1920 her family moved to Lindsay and in 1922 moved to Farmersville. At an early age Iva found work in the fields picking fruit. She also packed fruit and worked at the Exeter dehydrator. In 1925, she married Oscar W. Benton. Along with her husband, they managed the Linnell ranch west of Farmersville and also farmed cotton until Oscar's retirement in 1975. She enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. She especially enjoyed deer hunting trips to the Westside. When camping, she helped set up elaborate campsites where family and friends gathered, enjoying good food and lively conversation. She actively took part in the hunting process, bagging her fair share of game and sometimes netting the biggest fish. A tireless worker, she will be remembered for her neatly kept home, beautiful yard, and her talent for making ordinary food taste so very special.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband of fifty nine years, Oscar Benton, in 1984; two sisters, Ollie Miller and Hazel Anderson; two brothers, Arthur and Norman Miller; one great-grandson, Christopher Souza; son-in-law, Tony Andrade, and granddaughter-in-law, Donna Benton.
She is survived by her daughters, Anna Souza and husband Joe of Farmersville; Evelyn Andrade of Visalia; one son, Donald Benton and wife Mary Anne of Visalia; and one sister, Allean Givogri of Las Vegas.
Grandchildren held a special place in Iva's heart. They include Richard Souza and his wife Scharlotte of Exeter; Sandra Harris and husband Will of Washington; Marlene Andrade of Visalia; Tony Andrade, Jr. of Visalia; Susie Andrade of Visalia; Tim Andrade and wife Krissy of Visalia; Carol Castelo of Visalia; Judy Kirkwood of Exeter; Vickie Lawrence and husband Thomas of Bakersfield; Debbie Hood and Quinten of Palm Desert, and Gary Benton of Visalia.
Great-grandchildren include Lindsey Harris of Washington; Rich Souza and wife Denise of Visalia; Ricky and Analisa Andrade of Visalia; Melanie and T.J. Andrade of Visalia; Trason and Haley Andrade of Visalia; Hallie, Kacey and Kerrie Hood of Exeter; Owen, Tessa, and Emma VanderWerf of Palm Desert; Jacob and Dustin Benton of Visalia; Tommy Lawrence of Bakersfield; Donnette Carter and husband Joe of Porterville; Lisa Majarian and husband Paul of Visalia; Lun Castelo and wife Tracey of Exeter; Alvin Castelo and wife Julie of Visalia; Lolia McFadden and husband Dave of Big Creek; Joe Martin and wife Debbie of Exeter; Janette Ferreira and husband Ray of Tulare; and Sharlene Jumper of Exeter.
She is also survived by 18 great-great-grandchildren. A special lady known as Mom and Grandma to everyone who knew her, she left behind a legacy of pride and hard work. Arrangements were under the direction of Evans-Miller Chapel of Exeter.