OBITUARY: Beverly Jeane Gore Benoist


Beverly Jeane Gore Benoist, 93, of Nashville, TN, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, March 13 after an extended illness.

Jeane was born in Natchez, MS on January 2, 1931, the daughter of William Martin Gore and Frances Catherine Gaffney.

She grew up in Natchez and across the river in Ferriday, LA, graduating from Ferriday High School where she was the drum major of the high school band for two years. She graduated from Ward Belmont College (which became Belmont University) in Nashville, TN, where she majored in music and sang the lead in the Conservatory of Music operetta her senior year. Jeane was married to the late Eugene Harned Benoist.

Jeane taught voice in Natchez in the early 50s and was involved in a number of civic and church (First Presbyterian Church) volunteer efforts. In the late 60s, she began a role as an investigator/social worker for the CDC and the MS State Board of Health coordinating the infant and school immunization programs, personally visiting the homes of new infants born in a five-county area around Natchez.

She also sold real estate in Natchez and later founded and operated two businesses in Tennessee, in Clarksville and Murfreesboro. After selling her businesses, she spent the later years of her life in Natchez and Holly Springs, MS before moving to Nashville.

Jeane grew up attending Metropolitan Opera performances in Memphis, and classical music and musical theater were life-long loves, especially those featuring Luciano Pavarotti. However, she was equally enthusiastic about singing and dancing around in her living room to the tunes of more contemporary music including Abba, the BeeGees, and especially Michael Jackson.

She was also passionate about collecting antiques and about gardening, particularly her beloved Queen Elizabeth roses with which she won several blue ribbons in rose competitions.

Preceded in death by her parents and her brother, William Martin Gore, Jr.

Jeane is survived by her three children: John and his wife Mimi, of Ft. Worth, TX; Catherine Benoist and her husband Mike Douglas of Boone, NC and Marianne Van der Voort and her husband Paul of Nashville, TN. She is also survived by her five grandchildren: Frances Compton and her husband Zach of Dallas and their children, May and Annie; Logan Benoist and his wife Helen of Albuquerque, NM and their children, Jack and Claire; Hunter Van der Voort and his wife Kyla of Lebanon, TN and their daughter, Harper; Sterling Van der Voort and his wife Spring of Chicago and Hayden Van der Voort of Nashville.

A graveside service will be at the Natchez City Cemetery on Sunday, April 7; details to follow.


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