Otie Jean Benson Friday February 21, 1929 to Wednesday March 9, 2022
Otie Jean Benson was born on Friday February 15, 1929 in Hyattsville, Md. She was the youngest of 5 children, 4 girls and 1 boy. Her early years in the 1930s were spent playing outside and climbing trees. As she grew older, she helped her siblings at the family-owned drug store close to home. She often recounted her memories of making hand-dipped ice cream cones. During the depression the family raised rabbits to help themselves and others have meat on their table but she and her sister Ana were known to invite a rabbit or two in to play indoors while the parents were working. The two of them also enjoyed tea parties on the lawn. After the primary grades, she attended the no longer existing Hyattsville High School where the girls focused on typing and shorthand while the boys concentrated on shop classes. The cafeteria was then run by the home economics class and proudly served grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup on Friday. A favorite for everyone!
Otie began her career with a job at the Washington Gas Light Company where she fell in love with and later married her future husband Bob on January 21, 1950. They went on to be married for 66 years. They initially lived in West Hyattsville until 1959 when they moved to Beltsville, MD where they lived for nearly 60 years. They had 2 children to include a daughter Susan and a son Wayne. During her many years in Beltsville, she stayed home to raise both children. She was an avid sewer, did many crafts, loved her flowers and hummingbirds and walked millions of miles in the neighborhood. She and Bob spent many weekend nights square dancing at the log lodge at the Beltsville Agricultural Center. Otie was a kind and caring soul who was quick to bake cookies or food for others in thanks and no one ever left her table hungry whether friend or family. She worked tirelessly and never quit at any task or situation that came her way. She was an incredible role model for her children, grandchildren and others who met her or witnessed the story of her life.
Otie was blessed to share her life with family and friends. Her sister Ana and she had a very special bond that few people share. From the early years until the day of Otie’s passing, they talked twice a day every day to support and uplift each other through the joys and challenges that life brings to all of us.
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