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Obituary: Marian Benoit, 1944-2022

Shelburne woman was a lifelong nurse, world-traveler, pilot, artist and adventuress

Published October 20, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated October 20, 2022 at 1:43 p.m.


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Marian Benoit - COURTESY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
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  • Marian Benoit
Marian Richardson Benoit (1944-2022) passed away at her home in Shelburne, Vt., on the morning of October 8, 2022, after a long illness. In her final months, she was attended by her family and the University of Vermont Home Health and Hospice. She leaves behind her husband of 58 years, three sons, five grandchildren, a sister, a daughter-in-law,and an untold number of close relatives and friends.

Marian graduated from Silver Lake Regional High School in Pembroke, Mass., in 1961 before attending Brockton Hospital School of Nursing in Brockton, Mass. At some point during this period, she worked as a lifeguard. After graduating in 1964 as an RN, she married Walter A. Benoit on October 18 of that year at the First Congregational Church in Hanson, Mass. officiated by the Reverend Robert H. Heigham. The couple lived in Pembroke for four more years and had their first child before moving to Park Street in Essex Junction, Vt., after Walter obtained a position as a loan officer with the Burlington Federal Savings and Loan. After some months settling into motherhood, Marian resumed her decades-long career as a nurse with the Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington, where she worked in the ICU, the recovery room, OB-GYN, and, eventually, as a certified IV nurse. After moving to South Burlington in 1971, she had two more sons in 1972 and 1974 before moving to Shelburne in 1976. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Burlington for a number of years.

A lifelong nurse, world-traveler, pilot, artist and adventuress, Marian obtained her private pilot license for single-engine aircraft. She was awarded a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do; donated many hours to knitting hats and blankets for newborns in neonatal intensive-care units; and took up parasailing, diving and a static-line parachute jump. She spent many years swimming laps at local fitness centers, skiing alpine and cross-country, windsurfing, golfing, and hiking the hills of Chittenden County and northern portions of the Long Trail. She developed skills as a gourmet cook (leaving behind a collection of recipes) and an interior decorator, and she took courses in automobile mechanics and Spanish. She travelled extensively with her husband visiting Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, the Bahamas, numerous Caribbean islands; embarking on river cruises along the Rhine and the Danube; and spent 25 years snowbirding to Florida’s Atlantic coast. She cherished her time at the seashore, whether in Maine or in Aruba.

If asked, she would most likely state that of all her achievements in life, being a good mother and nurse were the most important. Of this, there is no doubt. She excelled in these tasks with an unswerving devotion, tenacity and love. The world is left a better place from her service.


She chose to be cremated (undertaken by Stephen C. Gregory and Son of South Burlington) and will be interred at the Shelburne Village Cemetery. A memorial service is anticipated to take place at her home at a future date, yet to be determined.

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