On December 4, 2019 Mary Kay Bennett of Shoshone Idaho, joined her Heavenly Father as she lost her 7 yearlong battle with cancer.
Mary Kay Alexander was born to E. Zane and Dorothy Marie (Thomason) Alexander on May 26, 1948 in Wendell, ID. Mary Kay attended school and graduated from Shoshone High School in 1966. Then went to Salt Lake City and attended Steven Henninger Business School and obtained a bookkeeping and secretarial degree in 1968.
Mary Kay growing up enjoyed the joys of small-town living, riding bikes, swimming in the river, playing with cousins and friends, taking dance class and being involved in many organizations in school including drill team and pep club. While in high school Mary Kay worked at Grosse Drug Store as a clerk/cashier and a soda jerk. After graduating from business school, she worked in S.L.C. at Univac, Inc., until she left to marry her high school sweetheart - Dale R. Bennett on December 28, 1968 in Shoshone at Christ Episcopal Church. Dale was enlisted in the Navy, so the newly married couple moved to Avenal, California where Dale was stationed.
Out of the Navy, Dale and Mary Kay moved back to Shoshone in 1971 and their first child, Gina Marie, was born in August 1972. That same year they moved to Pocatello so Dale could attend I.S.U. in their electronic program. They lived at the Masonic Temple, where both Mary Kay and Dale were employed. After Dale’s graduation, they moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where Dale was recruited to work. They spent 2 years in Las Vegas and while there were blessed with their second child, James Bradley in May 1976.
Dale came home one day from work and asked if they wanted to move back to Shoshone; the answer of course was YES and once back, Mary Kay said she was NOT moving again, and that was in 1977--and she stuck to her word. They bought their first and final home and raised their family with wonderful neighbors that where more than just friends but family.
Once back in Shoshone, Mary Kay worked for Huyser Feedlot as a bookkeeper/secretary; the Wood River Soil Conservation; the University of Idaho Extension office - where she also served as the Lincoln County Fair Board secretary. Then in 1982 she and Dale had a nice surprise they named him Doyal Zane (after both his grandfathers) the third of their three children. The Bennett family was complete. In 1988 Mary Kay was hired by the City of Shoshone as the City Clerk/Treasurer where she served the city for 25 years till her retirement in 2013; who better to represent Shoshone than a person whose roots go back to the 1890’s in the area. Mary Kay’s Great Grandparents emigrated “out west” where they got off the train in Shoshone because that was the end of the line. Not only did they settle here in town but also north of town by the Ice Caves. Her grandmother started the first nursing home is Shoshone; her great grandfather ran one of the only freighting businesses between Shoshone and Twin Falls, and her mother was the public health nurse for Lincoln county for over 30 years.
In the mid 1990’s her husband Dale was diagnosed with MS. She stood by his side working and caring for him till his death in May 2003.
In Shoshone, if there is a community event, you can almost bet that Mary Kay was involved in some way. Mary Kay as always been heavily involved with her kid’s school, sports, band, drama, cheerleading and anything else they could do. Plus, she has been a 4-H leader, Cub Scouts leader, Boy Scouts mom, plus support for the Fire Dept, and American Legion. She served as an officer of the Shoshone Education Foundation, a member of the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln County Historical Society and had been involved with the Southern Idaho Travel Council where she has help organize events such as Ride Idaho, the Lincoln County Centennial and the Olympic Torch event in 2002. Mary Kay has belonged to the local P.E.O Chapter Y organization since 1980, she is a lifetime member of the Eastern Star where she has held local and state offices and has attend the Christ Episcopal Church in Shoshone since childhood, when her grandmother would take her to church white gloves and all. One of her favorite question that she was always asked is “what do you do in such a small town?” and her answer was “I don’t know but I am never home.”
Mary Kay was the past president (2010-2011) of the Idaho Chapter of ICCTFOA, and winner of the Dr. James E Weatherby Award; both were honors that she was very proud of. She also had been involved with the Southern Idaho Economic Development group and the Southern Idaho Rural Development group.
After retirement, Mary Kay enjoyed traveling and still staying involved with many organizations as she served on the board of the Golden Senior Center, Shoshone Education Foundation and could be found helping with concessions for any of the local sporting events. She was honored by the Shoshone Schools as the Volunteer of the Year in 2018.
Mary Kay’s hobbies included, but were certainly not limited to sewing, quilting, crocheting, knitting, beading, gardening, reading, camping, traveling, square dancing, golfing and, of course, spending time with her family. She always said, “She who has the biggest fabric stash wins!”
Mary Kay was most proud of her family and her Shoshone roots. She is survived by her children - Gina Bennett of Hailey ID; James Bennett of Shoshone ID, wife Ellen, grandchildren Kaitlyn and Daniel; Doyal Bennett of Twin Falls ID; also her brother Tom Alexander of Shoshone, ID, his wife Charlene and nephews Raymond Alexander (wife Brandy) of Shoshone and Matt Alexander (wife Anna) of Pocatello, ID, partner Mike Nelson of Twin Falls, ID and Mother in-law Lois Bennett.
She is preceded in death by her husband Dale Bennett, parents E. Zane Alexander and Dorothy Alexander, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.
The family would like to thank Harrison Hope Hospice for all the care that they gave to her to the very end. All the doctors and nurses at Twin Falls St. Luke’s Cancer Institute.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Shoshone Education Foundation, Golden Senior Center, Christ Episcopal Church or charity of your choice.
A funeral service for Mary Kay Bennett will be held on December 13, 2019 at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church, 205 E 5th Street in Shoshone, ID.
Funeral and cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Shoshone Chapel.
Mary Kay touched the lives of so many people during her short time here on earth, professionally and personally. She was a force that will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
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