Cover photo for Jean Mary Benware's Obituary

Jean Mary Benware

Jean was born on April 17, 1942 to Martin and Peggy McGuinn.  Jean had an older brother, John, a younger sister, Marge (deceased) and a baby brother, Marty.  She was raised on the south side of Chicago going to Little Flower Grade School, Mercy High School and finished her education at South Chicago Hospital on the way to becoming a Register Nurse.  She first worked with newborn babies at a downtown hospital.  Her claim to frame there was Chicago’s historic January 1967 snowstorm during which she spent four 24-hour days working at the hospital because she couldn’t get home and others couldn’t get in.

On a night out with the girls at a local watering stop, she, by accident or fate, found someone to dance with.  Little did she know she would be spending the rest of her life dancing with him.  His name was Jack Benware and he was out with the boys at the same watering stop.  They were married after a nine-month courtship in May 1967.

Jean was busy during their first years of marriage having four children, John, Jim, Jennifer Anne (died at birth) and Jeff.  As the boys went off to school, she became a volunteer nurse at St. Christopher Grade School and started the first school nursing program.  She continued her nursing expertise at the local high school as the boys grew up.

In 1980, Jack was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Chicago and Jean took on a new role, that of ministry to the local parish along with Jack’s service.  She volunteered as parish nurse serving both the health and spiritual needs of the parish community.

Jack was an avid golfer so she decided to take up the sport in order to keep an eye on him.  On Sunday afternoons you could usually find them on the local nine hole course.  This was their special time together.

Jean also found time to experience the frustration of the computer as she became known as the card lady.  She found a Hallmark card program and spent many hours printing out cards for all occasions for family and friends.  If you are reading this life story, you probably have received a card from her in the past.

In 1998, it was time to start thinking about retirement so off to the South, Savannah GA to be specific, Jean and Jack went.  It was a short stay, only four and a half years – too many bugs and too high humidly.  So, in 2002, the Valley of the Sun, Sun Lakes became their next home.  A great place to live especially when reading the Chicago weather reports in January.

Jean was blessed with three great daughters-in-laws, Jill, Allison, and Deb and five wonderful grandchildren, Mary-Margaret, Colin, Mary-Elizabeth, Ella and Haley as well as many friends.

Jean suffered from a lung disease for the past few years, which began to limit her ability to get around and was the ultimate cause of her passing.  She was blessed with a great gift of faith in God knowing that life does not end but only changes.  One of Jean’s most favored prayers was to thank God for his presence in her life and His gift to her of a loving family and friends. She will continue live in the hearts and minds of all that she met.  To say she will be missed cannot begin to express how she has blessed us with the gift of her presence.

A Mass of Resurrection to celebrate Jean’s life will take place at St Benedict Parish, 16223 S 48


St., Phoenix, on Monday, September 30


at 11am.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to either your local St Vincent dePaul Society or Hospice of the Valley.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Mary Benware, please visit our flower store.


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