Mrs. Benita Kay (Black) Moore, 79, of Galesburg, Illinois passed away at 12:00 am Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at Heartland Heath Care Center.
Benita was born May 2, 1941 in Salem, Illinois the daughter of Oren and Verna (Seiber) Black. She married David G. Moore on June 19, 1966 in Salem.
Benita is survived by her husband of 54 years, David of Galesburg; her longtime friend, Ann Pennington of Galesburg who since 1975 has shared Friday night pizza with the Moores; two brothers-in-law, Kenny Moore of Virden, Illinois and Bob Moore of Jacksonville, Illinois; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Rosalie Fear.
Benita’s first eight years of education were spent in a one-room country school house with her mother as her teacher. She was the co-valedictorian of the Salem High School class of 1958. She received her Bachelor of Science in 1962 from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and her Master’s degree in history from the University of Illinois. Benita taught Civics, American History and World History at Galesburg High school for 30 years, retiring in 1992. In addition to her teaching duties, she worked with some very bright and competitive students in Scholastic Bowl and was the sponsor for the National Honor Society.
While living in Southern Illinois, Benita was very involved in the Wesley United Methodist Church and its youth program. She was a member of PEO and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. After her retirement, Benita developed a passion for weaving and joined the Tromp-As-Writ Weaving Guild in Monmouth. There, her weekly weaving sessions produced baby blankets, table runners, towels, etc., many of which were customized before being proudly presented to the lucky recipient. One of her most cherished items was a vest that she made for herself. She had a love for reading which spanned many genres. One of Benita’s greatest accomplishments was publishing the transcript of Dr. James M. Black, a civil war surgeon, titled, “A Civil War Diary.” She later donated this transcript to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.
Always eager for adventure Benita traveled far and wide alongside her husband. Their travels led them to Scandinavia and Southeast Asia and on one occasion they were able to take advantage of a unique opportunity to enjoy a tour into China. When David was researching a book that he was writing about World War I, they drove through the French countryside, exploring the trenches, cemeteries, and villages where his young uncle had fought and died. A Viking cruise down the Rhine for their 50th wedding anniversary was their last big adventure.
Those who met Benita in later life might be surprised to learn that in her younger days she played piano, giving frequent concerts, sang, rode horseback, bowled in a league, played tennis, was an avid bridge player, and cruised Galesburg in a blue convertible that her students dubbed the “blue bomb.” Those that knew her well coveted her lime pickles and pickled beets.
Benita was a country girl at heart who loved the open spaces, the woods, the night sky, and the rural lifestyle. Recently, she commented that she missed the night sounds of the country on a warm summer night.
On any given morning, she and David could usually be found dining out at their favorite restaurant Perkins. Rest assured a good every-day conversation was shared.
Visitation will be held Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Galesburg Chapel. Graveside services are scheduled for 1:00 pm Monday, July 27, 2020 at Diamond Grove Cemetery in Jacksonville, Illinois. Memorials may be made to the Buchanan Center for the Arts, FISH Food Pantry or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com
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