Betty Ann Benston, who raised a family while running a small business in Ocean City, died May 15, 2019 in her sleep. She was 82.
Born in Washington, D.C., in 1936, she was the daughter of Fred Thomas, a World War I veteran who immigrated from England, and Dorothea Eggleston, a nurse from upstate New York.
She met Richard E. Hutzell while they attended Calvin Coolidge High School. They married after graduation and began building a family, moving to Ocean City in 1968.
Betty started working as an assistant in her husband’s accounting office and noticed that many of her husband’s business clients wanted help with office duties.
They soon were providing telephone answering, message and package drop-off services in addition to tax and payroll. She opened Ocean City Business Service, later renamed The Best Answer.
After her husband died in 1982, Betty expanded the business. She became friends with repair men who worked on her telephone equipment, in particular Carlton Benston.
Betty and Ben married in 1985 and soon bought a riverfront lot in Bishopville where they designed and built a house. The house became a gathering spot for friends, family and holiday dinners.
Betty eventually retired full time to her quiet life with Ben until his death in 2011.
She eventually left their waterfront home for an assisted living home. At the time of her death, she was a resident at Lakeside at Mallard Landing in Salisbury.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands and an older brother, Philip Thomas.
She is survived by five children and their spouses, Evelyn J. and Mark Brittingham of Pasadena, Richard W. and Chara Hutzell of Annapolis, Donna J. Allenbaugh of Berlin and Severna Park, William T. Hutzell of Durham, North Carolina, and Amelia E. and Douglas McCready of Bishopville.
Other survivors include four step-children and their spouses, Teresa and John Ryall of Salisbury, Kathy and Dean Williams of Salisbury, Karen and Dave Miller of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and Michael Benston of Salisbury.
She also leaves behind numerous nephews and nieces, many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 1, 2019, at the Burbage Funeral Home, 108 William Street, in Berlin. A celebration of life will follow at 12:30 p.m. upstairs at The Globe, 12 Broad St., Berlin.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Greater Maryland Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. For details, visit. alz.org/maryland/donate.
Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.