Dinah L Benson

June 14, 1939 ~ July 31, 2020 (age 81)


"A Life Well-lived!"
Yesterday (07/31/20), after a long and valiant fight with Stage Five Parkinson's Disease, the matriarch and earthly soul of our family, mother of Bill Kissam, Major Kissam, and Clayton Calhoon - Dinah Lou Benson, saw a gradual decline in health over the past year and peacefully passed back into the gentle arms of our Creator - she was eighty-one years young and continually stated how she had lived a truly blessed life, having loved and been loved. She was tended to and cared for by loving family members and caregivers during her last months of life yet never-the-less, was always focused on other's well-being before herself, even until the very end! Both her presence and unique outlook on life will be incredibly missed by all fellow people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her - family, friends, miniaturists, antique dealers, neighbors, and college students! Dinah is survived by her three sons, their wives (Kim, Noo, and Cheryl whom she loved and had unique and special relationships with), and many grand and great-grand-children that she cherished having special relationships with! Known as Gratty, her whimsical outlook on life gave us unique and adventuresome perspectives of the world we live in. She may be most notably known by those close to her for her hobby of creating and building from conception to completion, "Miniature Mouse Houses" as she liked to call them - each having a different theme that allowed viewers to see the world through "mice's eyes"! Other miniature displays consisted of themed creations reminiscent of particular scenes from stories written by authors such as Ken Graham's writings of "Wind In The Willows" and Charles Dickens' story (in particular) of "The Old Curiosity Shop"; and arrangements of her own imaginative visualizations such as a "Doll House", a "Christmas House", a "Grand-father Clock House", et cetera - each one and all, decorated her home throughout as if it were a miniaturist's museum of the 'lives of mice' and other extraordinary stories! She thoroughly enjoyed being a grand-mother and whole-heartily loved getting her family and friends together for Tea Party Fun"! She also enjoyed baking new recipes, learning, reading, writing, history, poetry, teaching, and discussing and exchanging valuable ideas. In academics, she achieved her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at Arizona State University after nineteen years and raising three boys. Thereafter, she switched her Major in education to achieve her Master's in English Literature, at ASU where she eventually taught related subjects; proceeding also to later teach at the University's of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Nevada, Las Vegas. Book-ending motherhood and academics - and having grown-up most of her life in Las Vegas - she modeled professionally on the 'Strip' in the '50s & '60s and was a successful Antique Dealer for over seventeen years, in her later years. Through the spiritual lens of the 'Church Of Christ', she believed in God and the saving Grace of God's Only-begotten Son, Y'shua - Christ, Jesus (John 3:16) and thus, found daily comfort in His Word and prayer, with the "compass" of Psalm 23. She will be laid to rest next to her long-life friend and recently deceased husband Clifford Clayton Calhoon (07/20/19) of over fifty-five married years, at Bunker's Memory Gardens in Las Vegas, Nevada. Due to limitations related to COVID19, there will be no official service held. In lieu of floral arrangements (therefore), she desired to have His Gospel continually preached and exemplified to all who might accept His Truth; thus, please send tax-deductible donations in her name to: Beth Yeshua Messianic Congregation of Las Vegas (address info and online donations link @ An online "Tribute" can be made this coming week @ Future visitations to her mausoleum space can be made @ Memory Gardens Memorial Park, 7251 West Lone Mountain Road, Las Vegas. Again, she will be incredibly missed!
Psalms - Chapter 23 ('The Remedy' Expanded Paraphrase)
1 The Lord is my friend — I have everything I need! 2 He provides rest where I can gather strength, leading me to peace and safety — like still waters; 3 He heals my inmost self. He leads me through the process of spiritual restoration for the magnification of His character of love. 4 Moreover, when I go through the dark times — when I feel like I am going to die — I will not give into fear or choose selfishness, for You are right there with me; Your rod of truth and staff of love, they comfort me. 5 You provide a feast to nurture me in plain view of my enemies. You cleanse my mind with the oil of Your Spirit; my cup of joy overflows. 6 Only goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in God's heavenly home forever-more.

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