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Armeda LaFrayne Benson

Longtime Seward resident Armeda LaFrayne Benson, 68, died from leukemia April 4, 2010, at Providence Seward Medical Center.

A private memorial will be held at a later date.

Armeda was born Dec. 14, 1941, in Evart, Mich., to Arthur and Daisy Frayne White. She lived in Michigan until 1976, when she moved to Alaska with her daughters Amy and Connie.

"Armeda attended barber college and was the first woman to finish barber college in Alaska," her family wrote. "She subsequently worked at Elmendorf Officers Club barbering and also contracted to work at Galena Air Force Base. She later operated a retail second hand store and barber shop in Eagle River. Armeda visited Seward and fell in love with the bay and town. In 1984, she moved to Seward and operated the Showcase Barber Shop until 2001, when she retired.

"In 1989, Armeda married Gary Benson, and after a short period in Washington state, resided at home in Camelot until her passing. She was a perfect friend and wife and always put others first before her needs."

Gardening was her forte and she was known for her beautiful yard. Many people stopped by to admire her flowers.

"Armeda attended several art schools, and her natural artistic skill in oil painting is recognized by many as she held art shows in Seward and Anchorage," her family wrote. "She was also involved with the design and painting of some of the murals in Seward. Creativity was her specialty as illustrated by her paintings, gardening and numerous crafts she developed and enjoyed. Her mosquito houses were unique."

Armeda is survived by her husband, Gary; daughter, Amy Kann and husband Don; and

grandchildren, Jarred and Grace; daughter, Connie Babb and husband Larry; and grandsons, Matt

and Jackson. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Tanya Kesmodel of Chicago, Mendy Benson

of Idaho, Chad Benson of Reno, Nev., Kara Bullock of Georgia and Gary Byrnes of Washington; and two sisters, Berneda and Berniece; and a brother, George, all of Michigan. She also leaves seven step-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Armeda was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Daisy Frayne White.

Memorials may be sent in Armeda Benson's name to: National Psoriasis Foundation, 6600 S.W. 92nd Ave., Suite 300, Portland, OR 97223-7195, or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 11 April 2010



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