Elaine J. Benson
Devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Elaine Jane Benson died peacefully May 19, 2023 at the Sussman House in Rockport following a brief illness. She was 92 years old.
Elaine was the second of three daughters born to Rockland police patrolman Carl A. Christoffersen and his wife Dorothy (Mank) Christoffersen of Chestnut Street. She graduated from Rockland High School in 1949 with her high school sweetheart John C. Benson. They were married a few months later, after John enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
John and Elaine settled on Broadway in Rockland. After his discharge from the Navy, John enjoyed a long career with the U.S. Postal Service. Elaine worked at the W.T. Grant Department Store on Maverick Street until it closed in the 1970s. She then worked in medical records at Pen Bay Medical Center.
The couple had four children, all born and raised in Rockland: John Wayne, Donna, Joanne and Sharon.
Later in life, John and Elaine built and cherished a beautiful log-cabin home in Waldoboro where they loved to watch for deer and birds, and Elaine kept lovely gardens. She continued to garden even after she moved into a retirement home at Bartlett Woods in Rockland in 2007. She kept her sunny corner rock garden bright with blooms she added to every spring with loved trips to local garden centers.
Elaine maintained a young-at-heart spirit all her life, which made her a joy for her large circle of friends and family. She had a flair for dancing, a competitive side that came out during card games, good luck at gambling, and didn’t mind the occasional margarita either.
John and Elaine enjoyed motorcycle trips with friends, candlepin bowling on Tuesdays and Fridays, and going out to local restaurants where they always knew everyone. They celebrated 66 years of marriage before John’s passing in 2015, but Elaine continued to enjoy her friendships and lunch outings with Stonewood Road friends, the Ladies Luncheon Group, or at the Rockland Elks Club.
Elaine will be especially missed for her skill at baking sweet treats. She was known to bake big batches of chocolate chip or molasses cookies and mail them by the boxful hundreds of miles across the country to her granddaughter who lived out west. She always had a special home-baked goody to offer guests, expected or unexpected. She also outdid herself every year at the holidays, putting out big spreads for family gatherings.
Elaine treasured her friendships with so many, but her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her true pride and joy. During their growing up years, she attended everything from sporting events and theater performances, to fashion shows and band concerts. She also loved sports on television and became an avid watcher of tennis.
Elaine was predeceased by her son John Wayne Benson, her sister Dot Hoxsie, and her daughter Sharon Bryant. She is survived by her sister Sylvia Hawkins of Daphne, Alabama; her daughters, Donna Maxim and husband Kenneth of Edgecomb, Joanne Arsenault of Boothbay; five grandchildren, Lisa Arsenault and her husband Lee Martin of Colchester, England, Michael Maxim of Edgecomb, Alex Arsenault and his wife Chantalle of Boothbay, Adam Bryant and his wife Jessica of Steep Falls, and Phillip Bryant of Orlando, Florida; and five great-grandchildren, Benson and Carson Bryant, Byron and Chase Arsenault, and Calvin Martin.
Graveside services will be held for family and friends at 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 15, 2023 at Sea View Glen Cove Cemetery, Warrenton Avenue, Rockport. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Sussman House, 40 Anchor Drive, Rockport, ME 04854 or the American Lung Association, 122 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04330.
To share a memory or condolence with the Benson family, please visit their Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.