HOISINGTON — Priscilla Ann (Engel) Benignus was born in Herington on Oct. 9, 1931, the daughter of Oscar and Hortense (Ehrsam) Engel, and was raised in Enterprise. She graduated from Kansas State University with a teaching certificate and taught at Simpson. On May 25, 1952, she married Robert M. Benignus. They lived in Alton for several years before moving to Hoisington in 1955. Robert preceded her in death on Feb. 6, 2009. While raising her family, Priscilla substitute taught in Hoisington and then worked for the Central Kansas Girl Scout Council, training and supporting Girl Scout leaders in Barton and surrounding counties. Priscilla took coursework during two summers at the University of Wyoming and through Barton County Community College, earning her bachelors’ degree in accounting from Fort Hays State University. She then worked in the accounting departments at a number of firms in the area before formally retiring.
Priscilla was an avid reader, a skilled baker, and possessed an extensive vocabulary developed from her love of word puzzles and other intellectual pursuits. She also enjoyed painting, playing bridge and other card games, and outdoor activities – including hunting and fishing with her husband in her younger years.
Mrs. Benignus was a strong supporter of many organizations, particularly those promoting environmental, historical, humanitarian and health-related issues. She was a member of Hoisington First United Methodist Church, a patron member of the Heritage Center of the Dickenson County Historical Society, Delta Delta Delta sorority, the order of Eastern Star, Friends of the Eisenhower Foundation and a member of the Smithsonian Institute.
Priscilla died in Hoisington on Dec. 6. Survivors include three daughters: (Elsbeth) Beth Locke and her husband Alan of Johannesburg, South Africa, Nancy Benignus of the Bronx, N.Y., and Sara Benignus of San Diego, Calif.; two grandchildren, Melissa Ann and Benjamin Alan Locke, South Africa; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Rosemary McGee.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Hoisington. Burial will be handled by Martin Becker Carlson Funeral Home, Abilene, and the graveside service at Mt. Hope Cemetery at Enterprise will be held at a later date. Visitation will be from 6 – 8 p.m. on Thursday at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home in Hoisington, and from 10 a.m. until service time Friday at the church. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Hoisington Public Library or The Nature Conservancy of Kansas in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.nicholsonrickefh.net .
Funeral arrangements provided by
Nicholson-Rick Funeral Home**
P.O. Box 146
Hoisington, KS 67544
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 13, 2011