Keith Eugene Benefiel became free of his earthly body on Sunday, March 27, 2016 at the age of 58. He was born in 1957, with a heart defect and Down syndrome in a time when society didn’t understand the great potential of persons with Down syndrome. His parents were told that he would only live a few years and the doctor told Eloise to take him home and just love him. She did just that and for 55 years until her death in 2013, she loved him. The whole family adored him. His siblings loved and protected him. His sister Pam has cared for him with devotion since his mother could not. In a time when most people with Down syndrome were institutionalized, I think having Keith live at home and participate in family and neighborhood activities contributed to his long and happy life.
Keith’s only income was SSDI and that ended with his passing. Pam did not work outside the home because she was caring for Keith which was a full time job. The family has been saving for Keith’s funeral, but what they have saved so far is far below what is needed for even the most frugal burial funeral. Any contributions to the family for Keith’s burial would be greatly appreciated. It’s humbling to have to ask for help but we know that Keith was loved by many.
For those who didn’t know Keith, here is a little bit about our brother, uncle, and cousin. Keith loved music but Elvis was his favorite and he loved to sing and dance! He enjoyed listening to his tapes on his tape player and went through a lot of batteries. His other hobbies included bowling, teasing and flirting with any girl who visited, and being with his family. He loved to collect cans and anyone who came over was asked “got any cans?”. You had to watch out if you had a can or bottle of soda though, he may come and collect it before you were done with it! He also enjoyed “writing” and had a stack of papers and pens beside him at all times. He loved the slapstick comedy of the Three Stooges and TV shows of his youth.
- Judy Lensch
- Judy Lensch
- Molly O'Connor
- Bob & Diane Stinson
- Stephanie Roberts
Organizer and beneficiary
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