Lavona Benoit passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, February 7 at her home in Port Richey, Florida. Born March 19, 1946, Lavona was 70 at the time of her passing.
It is ironic that her heart failed, as throughout her life Lavona demonstrated an enormous capacity for love and affection. As a wife, mother, grandmother, extended family member and friend she was a constant source of enthusiasm, encouragement, wisdom and joy.
Lavona began every day with prayer and scripture, inviting the Lord Jesus to direct her thinking and actions. She prayed everyday for the well-being of her family, and most especially her children and grandchildren.
Lavona lost her beloved parents, Bill Chicon and Erma Drury Chicon, when she was just 29. In 1967, while attending a friend’s wedding in Vermont, she met Albert Benoit of Wiliston, VT. They were married at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Williston on June 8, 1968.
With her marriage to ‘Bert’, Lavona became a much-loved and central figure in the large Benoit family of Vermont. The phrase ‘in-law’ did not apply here, as mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews – and eventually a new generation of husbands, wives and grandchildren – were all one loving family. The frequent extended family gatherings at ‘camp’ on the shore of beautiful Lake Champlain – often over the course of several days or even weeks – became the setting to raise kids and share the easy company, wonderful meals and frequent laughter.
Lavona’s love for people shaped her professional life, which was spent as a nurse. Much more a vocation than a job, she combined compassion with professionalism in over 40 years of service in Cape Girardeau, Missouri at St. Francis Hospital, with the private practice of Dr. Ron Robinson and lastly, with the American Red Cross.
Lavona and husband of 48 years ‘Bert’ retired to Port Richey, FL in 2008. Lavona remained active throughout the community, especially at St. James The Apostle church, where she served as a Eucharistic Minister delivering Holy Communion each week to several home-bound parishioners.
Lavona is survived by her husband Albert Benoit of 10623 Quimby, Port Richey, FL. 34668, and by her daughter Michaele Benoit (James) Riley of Cape Girardeau, MO. and her son Michael (Angie) Benoit of Waynesville, MO. She is also survived by grandchildren Luke Riley (Michaele) and Kolton Benoit (Michael) – as well as a long list of honorary grandchildren and great-grandchildren to whom Lavona adopted as her own. They include:
Michaele & Jim: Anthony & Eliza Riley (Drake, James & Michael); Alyson & Matt Shead (Leo, Jane); Hannah & Shawn Wheeler (Harrison).
Michael & Angie: Nichole Bohnert and her fiancée Tyler Gluck; Aimee & Keith Eftink (Payton and Keaton) Jason Bohnert and Shane Bohnert.
A visitation will be held Sunday, February 12 from 2:00 – 4:00pm at Faupel Funeral Home, 7524 Ridge Road, Port Richey, FL. 34668. Funeral Mass will be 10:00am Monday, February 13 at St. James The Apostle Catholic Church, 8400 Monarch Dr. in Port Richey, with Pastor Michael Cormier presiding. An additional memorial service to be held in Missouri will be planned for late Spring.
The family requests memorials be made to the American Red Cross.