Cornelia Curry Morrison Benfer, “Sally,” age 87 of Topeka, died on April 28, 2019. She was born October 4, 1931 in Long Beach, CA, the daughter of Mar Alexander and Helen Cornelia Morrison. She attended schools in Seal Beach, CA and Topeka, KS. Sally was a 1949 graduate of Topeka High and 1953 graduate of Washburn University, (W.U.) earning her degree in English Literature. She later re-entered Washburn to study art and in 1982 received the Pollack Award as outstanding student for her exploration of color in oil painting.
Sally was a member and chapter President of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, at W.U. She was also an active volunteer, teaching Junior Great Books in the Topeka Public Elementary Schools. She gave her time and talent to organizations and events such as Opportunities in the Community, Goals for Topeka, Mulvane Art Museum Board, Go Fourth Celebration, and the Junior League of Topeka.
In addition to her artwork, family and community activities, Sally was an avid non-fiction reader, especially delighting in books about art history, antiques, philosophy, and religion. She devoted many hours to her perennial garden, enjoyed cooking, and exploring new recipes.
Nothing in this world was more precious to her than the gift of time spent with her family and friends. It almost always included the opportunity to chat with loved ones while devouring her highly sought after Party Mix. Grand children, genealogy and historic Topeka were favorite topics as well as what was blooming in her garden or which birds were fluttering around her beloved feeders.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband James E. Benfer, Jr., son John Curry Benfer, and brother Dr. Donald H. Morrison. She is survived by her sons, James E. (Jeb) Benfer III (Teri), Daniels P. Benfer and daughter Anne B. Hesse (Scott). Also surviving are four grandchildren: Michael Benfer, Lucy, Sam, and Peter Hesse, and two nieces: Nancy M. Howard and Cynthia M. Schoenfeld.
We are thankful for the legacy of enduring love that she leaves in all of our hearts. It is really okay to be “good enough”. Sally will be dearly missed by her family, pals, and her feathered friends.
Our heartfelt thanks and gratitude go to the nursing staff and aides at Great Lakes Caring and Hospice.
Per her wishes, Sally was cremated. A private, family internment will be held at Topeka Cemetery. The Memorial Gathering celebrating her life will take place on Saturday, May 11th from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM at St. David’s Episcopal Church located at 3916 SW 17th St. Topeka KS 66604.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Sally’s memory to one of her favorite charities.
The Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka, Inc
5720 SW 21st St Topeka, KS 66604
Friends of the Mulvane Art Museum
1700 SW Jewell Ave Topeka, KS 66621
St. David’s Episcopal Church
3916 SW 17th St Topeka, KS 66604
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle” – Ian Maclaren