Sr. Maryann Benoit, SP

Apr 27, 1923 – May 9, 2017

Sr Maryann Benoit SP obituary image 1




(Sister Valerie)

Sister Maryann Benoit, age 94, a Sister of Providence for 72 years, died May 9, 2017, at Swedish First Hill Medical Center, Seattle, WA.  Vigil Service:  Sunday, May 14, 2017, at 7:00 PM, and Funeral Mass: Monday, May 15, 2017, at 11:00 AM, both at St. Joseph Residence, 4800 37th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA.  Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, WA, after Mass and reception.  Bonney Watson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

Anna Mary (Maryann) Benoit was born April 27, 1923 to Frederick and Anna Kathryn (Heiser) Benoit, in Yakima, Washington.  She was the third youngest of 12 children.  Maryann entered the Sisters of Providence in July 1940 at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle, WA, and in January 1941, she became a novice.  In July of 1942 she professed first vows and received the name Sister Valerie, and in July 1945 she professed final vows.

Sister Maryann graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Yakima, WA in 1940 and then entered the novitiate in Seattle, WA.  In 1953 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Great Falls, Montana, and in 1963 she received her Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.  Sr. Maryann had numerous educational opportunities over the years which included attending the University of San Francisco, CA; Gonzaga University and the University of Washington; studying Spanish at Centro Intercultural de Documentacion in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In 1984 and 1986 she taught an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program for the International Educational System (IES) in Tokyo, Japan, then subsequently served as advisor to Japanese college students.  Also, during her time in Japan, Sr. Maryann received the IES Distinguished Educator Award.  She also received teaching certificates in elementary and secondary education from the states of Washington and Montana.

Sr. Maryann’s ministry of 50 years was teaching in numerous institutions from 1942-92.  In Washington:  Tacoma – Sacred Heart School; Walla Walla – St. Patrick Grade School and St. Patrick Catholic High School; Seattle –St. Catherine School; Vancouver – Providence Academy; Olympia – St. Michael School; Yakima – St. Joseph Academy; in California:  Burbank – Providence High School; and in Montana:  Missoula – Sacred Heart Academy; Great Falls – Central Catholic High School and the University of Great Falls.

From 1973-92 Sr. Maryann was a professor teaching English at the University of Great Falls.  In February 2000 she received the University of Great Falls Alumni Association Award for her outstanding leadership, professional achievements and scholarly work.  In 1993 she retired from teaching and began volunteer work in Great Falls as a professional mentor for writers, editing books and articles for publication and as a tutor advocating for economically challenged individuals.

Some of Sr. Maryann’s hobbies were traveling, reading, doing crossword puzzles, corresponding with many friends and family, and exploring modern technology.  In February 2015, Maryann moved from Great Falls to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle, where she enjoyed and cherished spending time with family, friends and her sisters in community.

Sr. Maryann is preceded in death by her parents, six brothers and three sisters.  She is survived by her two brothers, James Benoit and Larry Benoit (Waldene) from Yakima, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Avenue SW, #9016, Renton, WA 98057-9016. 


Daria Underwood Gerig
Republic, WA
Aug 1, 2017

Sr. Maryann was my high school English teacher for my freshman, sophomore and junior years as well as my Spanish teacher my freshman and sophomore years at Central Catholic H.S. in the '70's. MANY years and life changes later, she was my English teacher once again but this time at the College of Great Falls (name changed to University of GF and, more recently, University of Providence. I think Sr. Maryann would have loved that.)

I remember her as a no-nonsense woman and an fantastic teacher and professor. She knew her stuff. I was privileged that she chose me to be a tutor of English for some of her students while I attended college.

What a long and effectual life she lived!

Robert L Hayes
Kirkland, WA
May 17, 2017

Sr. Valerie was my Jr High School English teacher at GF Central (I'm not telling the year).


Best English teacher I've ever had at any level of education.

One of my most caring teachers.

I was in her class when it was announced that JFK had been shot. She cried. I will never forget that.

She told us to take the typing class at GF High School in the summer - it started at 8:30am. I work in computers and it has served me unbelievably well.

While a student at the College of Great Falls, she would drop by the library and talk to me to see how I was doing. She was the only teacher I ever had who did that.

It is a consolation to know that she is finally in the loving arms of her Loving Father.


Jim G. Benoit JR.
Yakima, WA
May 16, 2017

When growing up Sr. Maryann was known to me as Sr. Valerie. My little sister MaryAnn was named after her. My aunt was first class all the way. She was strict but possessed a caring and kind heart. Sr. MaryAnn without fail would send out a newsletter each year keeping the Benoit family up to date on anything that was going on with regards to any Benoit. My Dad has taken this loss very hard for they are only 2 years apart in age and were very close growing up. There is no doubt in my mind that she is in heaven looking down on all of us and I am sure wanting to correct my grammar. We will all miss you Aunt Mary Ann.

Kevin Stevens
Cambridge, MA
May 15, 2017

Sr Maryann taught me Spanish for three years at Great Falls Central. She was an outstanding language teacher, and I learned as much about English grammar from her as I did the Spanish language. She also had a great sense of humor and superb dedication to the teaching profession. She will be missed.

The Hearing Place
Great Falls, MT
May 15, 2017

Our hearts are heavy at losing this precious lady. She will be forever in our hearts.

Pat, Sue, Vicki, Lisa & Carol

Bill Shikany
Bellingham, Wa
May 14, 2017

I have fond memories of Sister Valarie. She helped me so much in my first years of teaching. I am so grateful for what she did for me and for so many of her students. May she Rest In Peace. Peace on earth. Bill Shikany

Tom Zadick
Colleyvville, TX
May 13, 2017

Sister Maryann was the best English teacher I ever had. She expected nothing more than your best effort. Later she and Sister Anne became good friends with my mom at CGF. They used to hang out a lot and they always looked in on her. We really appreciated the two of them. They were angels to the community.

Pete and Yoshiko Frazier
Goodyear, AZ
May 12, 2017

We first met Sister Mary Ann while she began advising Japanese students at CGF and asked Yoshiko's assistance in translating. Over the years she and Sister Ann Deloris became close friends and extended family members. It became a tradition for them to come for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house. They watched as our house was built and our daughter, Mitsu grew up. We were saddened to lose Sister Ann Deloris and are now saddened to lose Sister Mary Ann. It was an honor and a joy to have know them both. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and many friends. We know that she is in Heaven watching us with that gentle smile and now at peace. God Bless you Sister Mary Ann. You are missed by many.

John Moore
Helena, MT
May 12, 2017

Sister Maryann taught our freshman English class at Great Falls Central in 1966-67. She was formidable and demanding, while also encouraging and helpful. She and I butted heads a bit -- a process that made me appreciate a teacher who sought to get the best out of her students. Godspeed, Sister.

Judy Stimac
Great Falls, Mt
May 12, 2017

Sr Val was very special. She served a long loving life. May she Rest In Peace.

Jo Anne Church
Great Falls, MT
May 12, 2017

We have lost a wonderful person and educator. Sr. Maryann was both mentor and friend to me a the College of Great Falls. She stood staunchly by my side through many difficulties, and I could always count on her wise advice. Her teaching methods were stellar, and she won the support of her many students who also became her friends. I was so sad and lonely when she left CGF because I treasured our daily talks and laughs about academic life. Rest in peace, Sr. Maryann; you were loved and admired.

Peggy Rowe Ursuline Centre
Great Falls, MT
May 12, 2017

While living in Great Falls, Montana, Sr Maryann and Sr Ann Delores were regular companions for us here at Ursuline especially for daily Mass. They both have been missed by our community of Great Falls since they moved to the state of Washington. A celebration of a life well lived by one of our Lord's faithful servants.

William M Cawley
Great Falls, Mt
May 12, 2017

From 1963 when she taught me junior English at Great Falls Central until I said good bye to her and Sr. Ann Dolores, she has been not only a good teacher but a wonderful friend. When my father died in 1995, I asked her and Sr. Anndy if the would check in on my mother. They became the three musketeers of Great Falls, truly wonderful friends. I do believe there is a richly merited crown in heaven for Sr. Maryann, to match Sr. Ann Dolores's.

Vivian Stolle
Great Falls, MT
May 12, 2017

The world has lost a beautiful soul. She was a shining light for many people in Great Falls, especially at the College of Great Falls. It was my privilege to have known her. I worked at the college from 1988-1991 and she always had a smile for everyone. I remember she brought my newborn son a gift at the hospital. She always enjoyed seeing my children even after I no longer worked at the college. She will be missed.

Greg Hirst
Great Falls, MT
May 12, 2017

Sister Maryann was my instructor and friend at the University of Great Falls. Like so many others I admired the academic integrity she brought to the classroom. Sister Maryann was a caring, compassionate person who found much to admire in each person she encountered. Her passing is a great loss to the entire community of Great Falls.

Vivian Rambo
Greatfalls, Mt
May 12, 2017

I did her hair for many years and am very sorry for your loss. Maryann was very helpful in getting my son to finish his high school education.She will be greatly missed by my family and many others.May God be with you in this time.

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