March 4, 1933 — February 22, 2024 (age 90)

“When such a friend from us departs, we hold forever in our hearts, a sweet and hallowed memory, bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.”

Barbara Jean Dittmore Benson passed away peacefully at home in Mendon, Utah surrounded by family and full of love for the Lord Jesus Christ on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at the age of 90, 11 days before her 91st birthday.

Barbara Jean Dittmore was born March 4, 1933 in Provo, Utah to Marlin Lewis Dittmore Sr. and Barbara Wallace Dittmore. Having the same first name as her mother, she went by Barbara Jean or Bee Jae. She was the oldest of seven children. In her youth, she lived in Lindon, Utah, Washington, D.C., Long Island, New York and Leonia, New Jersey. She was a life long and fifth generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Barbara Jean spent her teenage years attending the East Orange, New Jersey Ward of the Church and loved Mutual, Firesides, and Stake dances in Manhattan. She also enjoyed going to Stake Conference in Manhattan and eating at the Automat between sessions. She graduated from Leonia, New Jersey High School in 1951. She attended BYU for three years, majoring in Home Economics and Secretarial Training, but her real love was English Literature. She did secretarial work for three summers in New York City. She met Elder Boyd R Benson (Eastern States Mission) when she returned home from BYU in June of 1952. They corresponded for 18 months and then had their first date at BYU in January of 1954. They married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 23, 1954. Barbara Jean worked at Bechtel Engineering in Vernon, California the first year of their marriage. She then enjoyed her full-time job as wife, mother, homemaker, and grandmother.

Barbara Jean and Boyd were blessed with seven children: Anne (Ariel) Rodriguez, Laura (Mel) Ready, Margie (Larry) Larcom, Sharon (Nolan) White, Marlin (Dawni) Benson, Edwin (Amy) Benson, and Brian (Heather) Benson. They have 46 grandchildren, with 14 grandchildren spouses, and 21 great-grandchildren. They lived in Southern California for 61 years, most of that in Downey.  She and Boyd moved to Mendon, Utah in July, 2015.

Barbara Jean served in many church callings, including Scribe to the Patriarch, Counselor in the Young Women and Relief Society Presidencies, Ward News Editor, Sunday School Teacher, Relief Society Cultural Refinement Teacher, Mother Education Teacher, and Spiritual Living Teacher. Her two favorite callings were Primary Teacher and Ministering Sister. Barbara Jean loved music. She first sang in ward choirs at the age of 12 in Queens Ward, New York. She loved listening to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. She filled her days with serving her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading scriptures and gospel study books, studying health and nutrition, and juicing fruit, wheatgrass and veggies. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  She memorized the 100th Psalm as a teenager and loved to recite it at family gatherings. She enjoyed temple work and family history. She loved to travel, and enjoyed touring Mexico, Iceland, Hawaii, Denmark, Sweden, the Bahamas and Church History sites. She spoke French and Latin, wrote in shorthand, and played the Hymns on the piano. She loved sending thoughtful cards for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions, which she continued to do until shortly before her passing. Her favorite movies included It’s a Wonderful Life, Ben-Hur, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and Pollyanna. She loved all things lavender. She lived a life of love and service.

She was preceded in death by her parents (Marlin and Barbara Dittmore), husband (Boyd), sister (Suzanne), daughter (Laura), son-in-law (Mel), and 2 grandchildren.

She had an unwavering testimony of the gospel and love of her Savior. She recently wrote, “I believe that after this life ends I’ll go beyond the veil to see my ancestors. It will be good to meet the Savior at the gate. He is the Holy One of Israel.”

Barbara Jean’s funeral will be held on Friday, March 1st, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mendon 4th Ward building, 20 North 100 West in Mendon, Utah, with a viewing prior from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

A viewing will also be held at the church on Thursday, February 29th, 2024 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Barbara Jean will be buried at the Mendon City Cemetery.

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Barbara Jean’s funeral service can be viewed via Zoom at: CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at White Pine Funeral Home.

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