Ethel Ophelia Wellman Bennett, 99, of Stony Point, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, at her home.
Ophelia finished her life as she lived it, full of grace, dignity, and a positive attitude. She was admired and her legacy will live on in all who knew her. She was loved by many friends she worked with and was well taken care of, especially by her daughter and family, her caregiver.
She was born March 7, 1921 and departed this life November 2, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Austin and Laura Parker Wellman. Losing her mother at the age of two weeks old, she was reared in the home of her late maternal grandparents, Albert and Harriet Parker, her aunt, Mary, her foster mother, Ella, and her foster brother, Harvey Parker. A sister, Hazel Bracher, and brother, Hillard Miller, also preceded her in death.
Ophelia attended Third Creek Baptist Elementary and Happy Plains School. She accepted Christ at an early age, and was a member of Third Creek Baptist Church. She was a charter member, president, and treasurer of the Senior Choir. Ophelia showed her love for five years to the choir, hosting a backyard cookout for the members to enjoy. She was a charter member of the usher ministry, Sunday School secretary, and chairman of the hospitality committee. She was also a member of the NC and Alexander County singing convention and a member of the Gold Women’s Club.
Ophelia was employed from 1947 to 1950 at the Stony Point School cafeteria, Days Inn and El Tio’s in Statesville for her tasty food. She was employed at the opening of the Alexander County Hospital in Taylorsville in the culinary department for many years. Among the many delicious meals, she was especially noted for her yeast rolls, where everyone was standing around the oven waiting for a hot buttered roll. She was a wonderful chef.
Ophelia always found time, after she married, to go back home to her grandparents to can food from the garden and cook and take care of them. She was a jolly and lovable person. Her hobbies were riding bicycles, embroidering, playing the organ, quilting, fixing hair, baking cakes for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and special events, and growing pretty flowers.
Ophelia was honored at her church in 2012 by Taylorsville Mayor George Holleman for her dedicated service to the hospital and community.
She was married to the late De Arcy Bennett on June 16, 1939. They enjoyed many years together traveling and sightseeing until his sickness. She left her job at the hospital, trusting in God without any income, to take care of her husband. He preceded her in death on March 6, 1988.
She leaves to cherish precious memories of her sweet and lovable life a daughter, Velma Bennett Patterson, and son-in-law B.F. of Stony Point; a daughter, Gladys Allen of Roaring River; a granddaughter, Slyvia Poole; a grandson, Reginald Patterson and fiancée Mary Ann Wilson; a great-grandson, Jerome Poole of Stony Point; Ailene Keaton of Statesville, who was reared in the home; three sisters-in-law, Betty Bennett of Stony Point, the late Marie Rankin, and Idell Bennett; four brothers-in-law, the late Wilbur, Harry, Garland and Henry Bennett; and other relatives, cousins, and friends.
Viewing for Mrs. Bennett will be held from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 at Third Creek Baptist Church in Stony Point. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Tommy Carpenter officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.