Vivian Annie Benton


Vivian Annie Benton, age 98, of Gonzales, Texas, passed away on Tuesday Jan. 21, 2020.

Vivian was born Aug. 1, 1921 in Dallas, Ore., to Annie and Jacob Neufeldt. In the summer of 1929, her parents packed the family into a Willys-Knight touring car and moved to a cotton farm in Tavener, Texas in Fort Bend County. She went to school in Richmond, graduating high school in 1939 before working as a car-hop in a hamburger joint in Rosenberg where she met persistent cowboy Arthur Lee Benton.

Vivian married Arthur Lee on Dec. 26, 1940. She briefly moved back to Oregon with her young daughter to stay with family while her husband served in WWII in the CBI theater. Reunited after the war, they moved to a 238 acre farm in Beasley, Texas, and their family grew by five sons. In 1979, they sold their farm, and moved to Waelder, Texas, where she fully embraced her role of Granny.

She was a past member of Waelder Methodist Church, local Saturn Friendship Club, and Eastern Star where she proudly worked toward the position of Worthy Matron. Within the community she was known for her Halloween goody bags, volunteering at the Waelder public library, and playing games at the community center. An avid jigsaw puzzler, Vivian also enjoyed sudoko, beating her grandchildren at the card game spite-and-malice, and completing crossword puzzles in pen in her beautiful cursive handwriting. 

Vivian was a gardener, a talented cook and great with animals. She enjoyed crafting and was skilled in needlepoint, crochet and quilting. She learned the piano and could play the accordion by ear. She had a great, contagious laugh. She had grit; she was dynamic; she had a way of making things special. She was the teacher of traditions and a beloved matriarch. We will all miss her dearly.

Vivian is survived by son Tom Benton (Milana) of Needville, Texas; son Pat Benton (Sherry) of Cotulla, Texas; son Tim Benton (Karen) of Flatonia, Texas; son Matt Benton (Sharon) of Moulton, Texas; son Jake Benton (Tammy) of Hawkins, Texas; and daughter Barbara Stavinoha of Bryan, Texas; brother Bill Neufeldt of Niland, Calif., sister Mary Prebilsky of Salem, Ore., sister Anna Mae Lee of Charlotte, N.C., 14 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Vivian was preceded in death by her husband Arthur Lee Benton; son-in-law Harvey Stavinoha; father Jacob Neufeldt and mother Annie Neufeldt; two grandchildren Stacie & Chance Stavinoha; five brothers and two sisters.

Visitation for Vivian will be held Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 starting at 5:00 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, Flatonia, Texas. Funeral mass will be held Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Flatonia United Methodist Church, Flatonia, Texas with Pastor Jeff Muehl officiating. Burial will follow at Hopkinsville Masonic Cemetery, Waelder, Texas.

Serving as pallbearers are Vivian's eight grandsons.

Words of comfort can be sent to the family at

Smith Funeral Home – 128 East 5th St. – Flatonia Texas 78941 – Phone 361-865-3311