LaVonn Marceil Benson, Ph.D., passed away on Dec. 25, 2012, at the Forest Convalescent Center in Forest. She was born Jan. 4, 1928, in Neshoba County and was preceded in death by her parents, S. H. and Laura Etta Benson, sisters, Jennie Lee Smith, Ethel Pylate, and brothers, L.V. Benson, Thomas N. Benson, and Lester L. Benson. She is survived by one brother, Joseph B. Benson of Neshoba County, and 19 nieces and nephews.

Dr. Benson grew up in the Dixon community in Neshoba County, graduating from high school there in 1946. She received her BA degree from Anderson University in Anderson in 1952, her M.S. degree in Education from Florida State University in 1959 and her Ph.D. in English from George Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn. in 1971. She taught in the public schools in Florida and in universities in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. She worked the last sixteen years of her teaching career at Middle Georgia College in Cochran, Ga., retiring in 1993. She spent her retirement years in Philadelphia where she was a member of First Church of God. She enjoyed participating in a writers' group in Meridian, and working on her family's history.

Dr. Benson traveled widely during her life. She spent six weeks in India in 1985 on a Fulbright Cultural Exchange studying women's rights. She also traveled to Morocco, Turkey, Russia, and throughout Europe.

A funeral service was held on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, at Pine Grove Church of God in the Dixon community at 3 PM followed by burial in the Pine Grove Cemetery. Services were conducted by her niece, the Rev. Lisa Benson Patterson of Denton Texas, with participation by several nieces and nephews.

McClain-Hays Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements