This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Margaret Benoit (otherwise known as Nammie) who was born on April 3, 1918 and passed away on February 8, 2011. We will remember her forever and cherish those memories in our hearts.

To celebrate Margaret's life, and in lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Children's Book Fund: In Memoriam of Margaret Benoit, 301 W. Claude St., Lake Charles, LA 70605

 

Join us for a graveside memorial at Prien Memorial Parkin in Lake Charles, LA (on Country Club Road off Nelson) on Saturday, February 19th at 2pm.

 

OBITUARY:

 

Margaret Rush Braswell Benoit passed from this life February 8th, 2011, at age 92, surrounded by family.  She was born April 3rd, 1918, in Mansfield, LA, and grew up in Haynesville and Arcadia, where she was living at the time of that town’s most famous event, the ambush of legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.  From valedictorian at Arcadia High, Margaret moved onto the Honor Roll at Louisiana Normal School, now Northwestern State University.  After graduation, she ventured south and for five years taught 5th grade at Westlake Elementary.  During that time she met the dashing LeRoy Benoit and freelanced as Westlake social correspondent for the Lake Charles American Press.  When they married she left teaching and moved to Lake Charles.

            Margaret’s love of language and knowledge could not be long restrained, she continued with the paper, interviewing political figures like Chep Morrison and Ronald Reagan, and covering events like Hurricane Audrey and the trial of Wilbert Rideau.  She eventually became Lake Charles correspondent for the Beaumont Enterprise, the Beaumont Journal, and the Shreveport Times, which named her Correspondent of the Year in 1961. 

            Meanwhile, Margaret and Leroy’s family was growing.  Dennis arrived in 1947, Elizabeth “Betty” in 1950, Yvonne in 1952, and Michelle in 1957.  Then, in 1961, tragedy struck when LeRoy was killed in a plant explosion at the Conoco facility in Westlake.  Now a single mother, Margaret was confronted with tragedy again when her only son was killed in a car accident in 1966.

            Margaret eventually became librarian at Oak Park Junior High.  She continued her education, earning a Masters +30, and watched her daughters earn their own degrees and begin families.  Margaret’s love of travel took her to over two dozen countries, and every continent except Australia; but most of all she loved to be at her fishing camps on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River.

            She is survived by her three daughters; her grandchildren, Philip Hall II, Aaron Richardson, Kevin Richardson, and Lara Hall; and great-grandchild Simone Richardson. 

Posted by Dr. Wayne Dominick on April 3, 2015
My mother passed away on February 12, 2015 after 100 Valentine Birthdays (2 days before her 101st) ... I know your grief ... best to all ... Wayne Dominick
Posted by Dr. Wayne Dominick on February 8, 2015
Continued condolences to the entire family ... Wayne & Joan
Posted by Phil Hall on February 8, 2015
Love you Nammie!
Posted by Phil Hall on February 8, 2012
We still miss you Nammy!
Posted by Yvonne Benoit Hall on February 8, 2012
I love you Mom! Whithout you I wouldn't be here.Thanks for everything!!
Posted by Carol Silverman on March 1, 2011
Dear Michelle, Although I never met your mother, I was very moved reading about her strength and wide cultural pursuits. I'm sure you, your siblings, Glen and the grandchildren will always hold her dear in your hearts.
Love, Carol Silverman
Posted by Sue Coffman on March 1, 2011
Dear Michelle
I am so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. You must miss her terribly but I'm sure the love and support of your family and friends (of which I know you have many) will help you get through this difficult time.
Much love ~ Sue
Posted by Dr. Wayne Dominick on February 27, 2011
All our condolences to the entire family ... Wayne / Joan / Brian / Wendy Dominick
Posted by Tara Knerr Groda on February 21, 2011
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nammie. I will always have a special place in my heart for her and the rest of the family. 
Tara
Posted by Mary Ann Goudeau on February 17, 2011
I have such fond memories of Aunt Margaret, Uncle LeRoy and Dennis Earl. Hope you girls know I love and think of you often. Aunt Margaret was the first one to take me to a public library. She was a "grand lady" and I will remember her forever. lol Mary Ann P.S. Betty, I still want your long blonde hair.
Posted by Susan Levitas on February 16, 2011
Your mama sounds like an amazing woman -- strong, loving, smart, hard-working. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you big love and hugs from Atlanta, Susan and Jake
Posted by Wayne Pitre on February 16, 2011
We did not know Michelle's mother but if she was any thing like her daughter the loss was ours. We are thinking about anf praying for Michelle, Glen, and the rest of the family.

Wayne and Marie P
Posted by Andrea Mariano on February 14, 2011
Simon & I were so sad to hear about your mother passing. Not knowing her, I loved reading the comments here about your mother. This was such a nice idea. We will catch up with you soon. Love, Andrea & Simon
Posted by GLENDA BLANCHARD on February 13, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, letting go of a beloved Parent is never easy. May your beautiful memories sustain you during this time. 
XOXO,  Glenda & Jesse
Posted by Melanie Pitre on February 13, 2011
Michelle, I enjoyed knowing your mother and enjoyed viewing this wonderful celebration of her life. The pictures and stories are beautiful. Holland and I send our love to you and your sisters.
Posted by Colin Gravois on February 12, 2011
Hamida and I are deeply saddened by your loss and send you and Glen our most heathfelt sympathy. We were not priviledged to have met her but knowing the kind of daughter she produced gives us an idea of what kind of mother and human being she was. All our love to you two at this difficult time.....Colin & Hamida Gravois, Paris, France.
Posted by Aline Baldwin on February 12, 2011
Michelle, your mom was a real character - I remember the way she would hole herself up in the house during the week of Wimbeldom. I hope that when we are remembered one day that we will be remembered as "characters" too. Life is no fun if you are boring!
Posted by Adley Cormier on February 11, 2011
Melinda and I are saddened by your loss and we send our deepest condolences. Your mom was a crackerjack and she loved you both very much. In a very strange coincidence, February 8 is also the anniversary of both by mother's demise and my father's demise (one year apart).
Posted by Jk Naps on February 11, 2011
what a time of passings ... I hope it was easy for her. 

I send my love... Jana
Posted by Joseph Graziosi on February 11, 2011
Dear Michelle
My heart goes out to you and Glenn in the passing away of your beloved Nammie. Aionia I Mnimi Tis...may her memory be eternal.
Love always
Joe G

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Dr. Wayne Dominick on April 3, 2015
My mother passed away on February 12, 2015 after 100 Valentine Birthdays (2 days before her 101st) ... I know your grief ... best to all ... Wayne Dominick
Posted by Dr. Wayne Dominick on February 8, 2015
Continued condolences to the entire family ... Wayne & Joan
Posted by Phil Hall on February 8, 2015
Love you Nammie!
Recent stories

Ms. Benoit was my American mom

Shared by Susanne Berg on February 16, 2011

Ms. Benoit became my American mom when I lived in Lake Charles from January 1974 till July 1975.

She was very dear to me and I loved being with her. I felt she "saw" me and reached out for me. I felt embraced by her warmth and interest and I was forever grateful to her for her sensitivity, her immense hospitality and last but not least her sense of humor. I treasured all of these features in her and being a wannabe teacher I so enjoyed her taking me to her school and sharing her library. I still remember her joking when she noticed my astonishment to the separate staff rooms:-)!

Memories:

We spent Christmas Eve together and I was introduced to a drink called Eggnog - Ms. Benoit always wanted to make sure that I knew about all the American traditions!

She did not have a dish washer and I felt at home due to that fact and she shared her philosophy concerning dishwashing and hygiene!

I once peeped into her secret room that "noone was allowed to see" - and I was intrigued by all the books and clippipngs from newspapers!

Best of all events were our trips to the camp. Never ever in my life had I seen plants - bamboo - like the plants growing there and I learned so much from our walks in the surroundings: Ms. Benoit was a wonderful teacher and host!

After I returned to Denmark we met three times:

First in 1976 in England where she had signed up for a Shakespeare study journey. We spent a week together and marvelled at 3 plays together because she arranged the tickets. We saw two plays in London and one in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was great.

The second time we met was in 1977 in Odense, Denmark. The birth town of Hans Christian Andersen. We had traditional Danish smørrebrød and tea and had good laughs! We only had the afternoon together...

The third time was in 2000 when I returned to Lake Charles for the first time since 1975. I brought my husband - Anders - and our two youngest children - identical twins called Astrid and Naja - then aged 16! It was a 'must' for me to return to Ms. Benoit. I so wanted to see her again and I so wanted to share this wonderful and lovable person with my family.

Thank you, Ms. Benoit, for your genuine generosity. You rubbed it on to the next generation and I adore you for that.

Love, Susanne

 

Time

Shared by Yvonne Benoit Hall on February 13, 2011

The Sun comes up in glorious splendor,

The Sun goes down with the remains of the day,

Time marches on always forward,

How time does change us all!

 

My Aunt Margaret

Shared by Liz Marsh on February 13, 2011

My Aunt Margaret was my mother's fraternal twin. They were very different in many ways but had such a close relationship that often they would pick up the phone to call each other, the phone would not ring, and I would hear her say , Margaret ? They had called each other at the same moment, the phone did not even have time to ring. They were also both widowed within a short span and were very strong women who forged ahead and supported each other.

I have fond memories of Sundays at the Benoit house. My mother would make a cake from scratch every Sunday and we would go over to the Benoit's for lunch and a leisurely  Sunday afternoon eating desert and coffee.

I can tell you how brilliant my Aunt Margaret was--you could , and I often did, ask her a question about any random topic, and voila---she had the answer, and a very descriptive one at that. She had  such an amazing character, her many books, her sweepstakes entries, her exotic and fascinating travels, never a dull moment. She was engaged in life ....she loved tennis, her camp, bird watching, nature , her family. As I  called my mother I would always ask how Aunt Margaret was and she would say----oh she hurt her knee on the steps of the Parthenon, or she is going down the Amazon again... One very funny memory was during one of her travels, mother was to collect her mail every few days from the neighbor, Mr. Smellsor ( who grew fabulous camellias ) who told my mother to back up her car----back up her car ! ? She had received that much mail in only a couple of days--too funny ! Aunt Margaret always seemed so busy.....

Another deeply fond memory was of our clay bake ornaments that Yvonne, Betty, and Michelle and I would create  before Christmas with our mothers while perched  around her large round oak table. This was so much fun, and it was so inspiring to see how elaborate these creations became. I remember Betty making an angel with a harp, using wire for the harp strings (or was it Tiny Tim ? ).....this was a brilliant idea we all enjoyed so much. We then painted these , some were very 60's inspired....everyone was chipper.

We grew up, moved away, but in my collective memory I will always be amused by my Aunt Margaret.

 

Much love,

Liz (McLaughlin ) Marsh