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Old 02-11-10, 03:25 PM
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Wife of Saints owner Tom Benson passes away

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Wife of Saints owner Tom Benson passes away
San Antonio Business Journal - by W. Scott Bailey

Grace Marie Trudeau Benson, wife of New Orleans Saints owner and long-time San Antonio businessman Tom Benson, died of Parkinson's disease at her home in Metairie, La., around 12:30 Tuesday morning. She was 76.

Benson was born March 1, 1927, in New Orleans at her parents' home near the French Quarter. She is survived by her husband, her sister, five children and six grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be offered by Rev. Phillip M. Hannan, retired Archbishop of New Orleans, on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in New Orleans.

A memorial mass will also take place at the Immaculate Conception Chapel in San Antonio Friday at 11 a.m., with a private burial to follow.

A strong advocate of volunteerism, Grace Benson was involved with many organizations that are devoted to helping others.

Among her many credits was helping to raise $1 million for eye research in New Orleans, where she served as a board member of the Louisiana State University Medical Center.

She also helped to spearhead successful telethons for children's hospitals in New Orleans and San Antonio and was a founding member of the Benson Community Fund.

Benson was an executive in Benson Motor Co. and also served on the advisory board of San Pedro Bank in San Antonio.

In 1986, she was honored as one of The Distinguished Women of Northwood Institute for her automotive business leadership and civic endeavors. Former recipients of the award include Sen. Margaret Chase Smith and Gloria Vanderbilt.

"Grace Benson was a warm and gentle person who was tremendously courageous in her personal life," NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a prepared statement. "She had the ability ... to make others feel that they were gracing her with their presence when the direct opposite was nearly always the case."

Benson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 18 years ago. Those closest to her say her ability to rise above the difficulties of the disease will remain an enduring testament to her courage and determination in the face of adversity.

The family is asking that contributions be made for Parkinson's research.

Wife of Saints owner Tom Benson passes away - San Antonio Business Journal:
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