Jean Ellen Benham

November 24, 1946February 13, 2018
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Jean Ellen Benham, age 71, of Englewood, Tennessee, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, February 13, 2018 in a Knoxville, Tennessee hospital.

She was born November 24, 1946 in Burns, Kansas to the late John Herbert & Ruth Brenzikofer Weber.

She moved to Tennessee from Anchorage, Alaska in 2002 following the death of her first husband, C. A. “Flea” Benham to be near her daughter’s growing family. She and her late husband were the former owners of Beauty Vans in Anchorage.

Jean was a talented singer and was a former member of the Gold Dust Quartet and the Anchorage Chapter of Sweet Adeline’s Chorus. Her current hobbies included the Dorcas Ladies Quilting Club; the Cherokee Women’s Association; and was a member of a Bridge Club.

Jean had a giving heart for others. To fulfill that passion, she volunteered with the Madisonville and Tellico Plains Soup Kitchens. Prior to that she served at the Ronald McDonald House as a way to give back to them for their support of her family following the birth of two premature grandbabies.

She attended Center Presbyterian Church.

She loved to travel and spend time with her family. She took many road trips with each of her granddaughters to visit family members in her home state of Kansas. These times were special and unique adventures for them proving she was a fun-loving Grandma. She will be remembered by her unexpected and quirky gift-giving as well as her great sense of humor. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by one sister, Margaret Lambert.

Survivors include her loving husband, Arvil Buckner of Englewood; her beloved daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Todd Allen of Apison; four beautiful granddaughters whom she adored, Merrin Allen, MacKenzie Allen, Madison Allen, and McKlaine Allen all of Apison; three sisters, Rita (John) Spinden of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, Joan (Don) Siemer, and Alice Hatch of Wichita, Kansas; three brothers-in-law, Calvin Buckner, Lamar Buckner and Ricky Buckner all of Englewood; two step-children, Roger and Lenee, and their children, Ryan, Jeannie, Cherise, & Nellie; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Friday, February 16, 2018 from 1-3 p.m. at Center Presbyterian Church, 6265 TN-360, Tellico Plains, TN 37385. A Celebration of Life Service will begin at 3:00 p.m. with Pastor John Faraone officiating.

In lieu of flowers, and in keeping with Jean’s giving spirit, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Tellico Plains Soup Kitchen, Attn: Food Pantry, P.O. Box 434, Tellico Plains, TN 37385.

Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.


  • Visitation Friday, February 16, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Service Friday, February 16, 2018

Jean Ellen Benham

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The Lewis Family

February 19, 2018

Deepest sympathy to the family for this great loss. The strength from God can sustain you now and in the days ahead. May you find a measure of comfort in the loving support of each other and friends and in the cherished memories you share.

February 19, 2018

May the constant love of caring friends soften your sadness and cherished memories bring you moments of comfort.

Cherie Olson Faircloth

February 15, 2018

I am so sad reading about Jean's passing. She was a wonderful lady who will be sorely missed.

Matt Wooten

February 15, 2018

So, so sorry for this sad loss. Praying for your sweet family.

Cathy Evans

February 15, 2018

Sincerest Condolences to you and your family. My heart and prayers are with you.

Cathy Bailey

February 14, 2018

My deepest condolences on your sudden loss. My thoughts are with the family at this time of grief. Jean Ellen is singing loud with the angels.

Pam Williams

February 14, 2018

God has defiantly gained another Angel. I love you and will defiantly miss seeing her smile and her kind words and all the help she gave me and Earl Williams. Your family and friends are in my prayers. Love and prayers, Pam Williams

Brian & Bev McKay

February 14, 2018

We are so shocked by this very sad news. Our deepest sympathies and love to Orville, Diane and Todd and family. She was our neighbor for over 25 years and was like a sister to Brian and I.

CJ Kochmann

February 14, 2018

Words can not express the sorrow I have for your sudden and tragic loss. I am praying for all of you and take comfort in knowing Mrs Benham is in G-d's loving arms. CJ Kochmann