Marvilena Nannette (Anderson) Bennett of Zillah, Washington, died Aug. 17, 2015, in Fort Collins, Colorado, of complications from a stroke. She was 82.
Marvilena was born Feb. 17, 1933, in Tillamook, Oregon, to Marvin Marlo Anderson and Genevieve Rowenette (Phelps) Anderson. She graduated from Tillamook High School in 1950 and attended Portland State University for one year. She married Clifton Bennett in 1956 and they moved to Camas, where Clifton worked for Crown Zellerbach as a research scientist. They had three daughters and were active members of Camas First Baptist Church. The couple met when Clifton came to live with Marvilena’s family to help with work on the dairy farm.
Marvilena was a beloved wife and mother. She had a beautiful mezzo-soprano singing voice, and loved gardening and sewing. She excelled at community leadership and outreach, including serving as the Camas First Baptist Church choir director and as a Zillah Garden Club member. She was a top Avon seller for her district. Her creative life was rich, exhibited in her home d?cor, hand-sewn family wardrobes and church bazaar wares.
The Bennett family lived in what was then Czechoslovakia for seven months, when Clifton was awarded a grant from the National Academy of Sciences in 1972. For Clifton’s work as an organic chemist, the couple relocated to St. Charles, Illinois, in 1982 and to Zillah, Washington in 1994.
Marvilena is survived by her daughters, Michelle Nanette Morse (Daryl), Gretchen Frances Bennett (Steve Zielke), Genevieve Eileen Dowdy (Joe), (exchange student daughter) Kathy Christie (John); stepsister, Darlene Bone; stepbrother, Robert Anderson; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifton Francis Bennett, on Dec. 20, 2012, and her brother, Roweland Douglas Anderson, on Dec. 20, 2008.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Aug. 30 at 2 p.m., at New Harvest Fellowship United Methodist Church, 201 N. Beech St., Toppenish, WA 98948. There will be a light luncheon after the service in the fellowship hall of the church. Pastors Eli Martinez, David Hacker and Derel Olsen will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to New Harvest Fellowship United Methodist Church’s works and outreach.