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Ann Benson, age 58

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Ann Benson, age 58, passed away on August 18, 2019.

Ann was a wonderfully unique character, born on December 29, 1960, in Lakewood, NJ, to Harold "Hal" Lindley Benson and Barbara Louisa Taylor Benson. From a young age, Ann was independent and curious, well-read and adventurous. Ann's wit and sense of humor was unmatched, and her many friends recall her contagious smile, and utterly unique and joyful laugh. She graduated from R.S. Central High School in 1979, and later Isothermal Community College. She raised four children in Rutherfordton, to be free thinkers and independent, just as she was. Generous and nurturing to everyone around her, Ann was a stalwart den mother to many of her children's friends.

After raising her children and working in retail management, Ann pared down her worldly belongings and set out to explore the world. She moved to Steamboat Springs, CO in 2015. There she indulged her love of all living things and the natural world. She loved the variety of wildlife and scenery, frequently sending anecdotes and photographs to friends and family, and entertaining them by sending a daily newspaper clipping of small ski town police reports.

Ann is preceded in death by her parents, Hal and Barbara, and her sister, Louisa. Ann leaves behind four children: Julia Thompson and husband Michael Hrivnak, of Raleigh; Michael Thompson, of Spindale; William Thompson and wife Sarah, of Laurel, MD; and Hannah Thompson, of Forest City. Ann also leaves behind many extended family members, and a large chosen family of friends from every walk of life, who all loved her dearly, including her partner, Murray Berger, of Hayden, CO. Ann saw the good in all people, including jerks, and rarely uttered a mean word about anybody. She looked out for the underdog and took in stray cats. She was generous, selfless, and maintained her humor even in the most adverse situations. She lived without judgement, and was laid back and open-minded. Lesson learned: Be more like Ann. The world is a better place because of her, and countless friends and family are better people because of her example. Those who knew Ann knew she loved turtles of all varieties. She always advocated to friends and family to help turtles safely cross the road. Thousands of turtles likely received safe road passage as a result of her advocacy. Ann wanted to return to the North Carolina Outer Banks, to help with sea turtle efforts, but unfortunately never made it back.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests that memorial donations be made in her name to: Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) PO Box 1073, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949

http://www.nestonline.org/donate-contact/

A Celebration of Life was held at Barley's Taproom, Spindale.

Crowe's Mortuary and Crematory is serving the family.

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