Mary Eva Thomas
January 26, 1926 – February 19, 2020
Eva Benbow Thomas died peacefully in her sleep February 19, 2020 at age 94 at Friends Home at Guilford. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be at 2:30 PM, Sunday, March 1, at Grace United Methodist Church. Born Mary Eva Moore, she was the third daughter of Eva J. and Lewis Moore. Eva graduated from Greensboro (Grimsley) High School and was top-ranked in tennis, a sport that, as well as golf, she enjoyed most of her life. She graduated with art and drama degrees from Greensboro College in 1947 and taught art there for a few years after college. She was an avid lifelong GC alumna, received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and created an art scholarship in memory of her mother Eva J. Moore that she funded by selling her paintings. She went on to earn a master’s degree in art and art education from Appalachian State University, and taught art and coached tennis at Southern Guilford High School. A gifted and prolific artist, she worked with all types of medium but was especially gifted with watercolors. Eva had a wonderful gift for seeing art in everything around her, and helping others to see it, too. She taught art and ceramics throughout her life, and was a member of the Greensboro and Alamance artist leagues. At age 84, she spent nine months painting murals for the children’s Sunday School wing of Grace United Methodist Church, where she was a longtime member. Eva’s interests varied tremendously. She earned her pilots license in her 20s and belonged to a social group of female pilots in Florida called the Grasshoppers. She was a gifted gardener, volunteered many years for the Greensboro Council of Gift Scouts, and was a member of the Greensboro Woman’s Club. She enjoyed a long and happy marriage to Kyle C. Benbow, with whom she would fly planes and manage airports, and raise four children: Greg, Becky, Cindy, and Kyle. Sadly, KC, later Becky, then Kyle, would predecease her. She later married Dick Gant with whom she shared five happy years of laughter, golf and bridge. Several years after Dick’s death, she married Willard Thomas who predeceased her after 26 years of marriage. She was also predeceased by her beloved sisters, Dorothy Rue and Jane Adair. She is survived by her children Dr. Greg Benbow (Katrina) of Richmond Va., and Cindy Benbow Flora (Stewart) of Greensboro. In addition to her children and step-children she was blessed with and loved 12 grand-children and 7 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Grace United Methodist Church, 438 W Friendly Ave, Greensboro, 27401; Greensboro College to the Eva J Moore Scholarship, 815 W. Market St., 27401; or the charity of one’s choice.
- Lewis L. and Eva Johnson Moore, Parents (deceased)
- Kyle "KC" Benbow, Husband (deceased)
- Dick Gant, Husband (deceased)
- Willard Thomas, Husband (deceased)
- Dr. Greg Benbow and wife Katrina, Son & Daughter-in-law
- Cindy Flora and husband Stewart, Daughter & Son-in-law
- Also surviving are her step children, twelve grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. In addition to her parents, her children Kyle and Becky and two sisters, Dorothy Rue and Jane Adair preceded her in death.
Grace United Methodist Church
438 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
(Eva J. Moore Scholarship) 815 West Market Street , Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
- Celebration of Life Sunday, March 1, 2020
- A visitation and reception will follow the service
Mary Eva Thomas
February 22, 2020
As a student at Southern Guilford High School in the '70's, Mrs. Benbow was one of my favorite teachers. She was my mentor, and helped me get through the death of my mother during my senior year. She was not just a great artist and teacher, she was a real friend. I will always remember the Art class field trips - one was my first visit to Reynolda House. I have continued with my artwork over the years, and when I finish a new drawing, I always hope that Mrs. Benbow would be proud of me. She made a positive difference in my life.