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Shelton and Kathleen Benson Nursing Scholarship

Kathleen Benson lived most of her life as a farmer’s wife and mother, raising five children on husband Shelton Benson’s family farm. She began her adult life, though, as a nurse and returned to that career after her children were in college.

She didn’t end her role as farmer’s wife, though. She’d get lunch started before leaving for her 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. shift, and she’d be home in time to get lunch on the table, remembered daughter Kathy Benson Lancaster, who, with her daughter and one of her sisters, shared her mother’s call into nursing.

Shelton Benson was always involved in community affairs, Mrs. Lancaster remembers. He’d work the tobacco farm all day, rush in for dinner and a shower and then head off to a meeting of the Benson and South Johnston School Boards, the Johnston County Health Department, or Johnston Community College Board of Trustees.

It wasn’t until after Kathleen Benson’s too-short life ended at 62 that JCC started a nursing program.

“Dad was already on the board when the nursing school opened and he was very excited about that and worked hard. I think it was …sort of a way to honor her,” Mrs. Lancaster said.

After Shelton Benson died at age 92, their children decided to honor their parents with the scholarship in the nursing program.