Obituary of Mary Jo Benton
Mary Jo (MJ) Bouchard Johnson Benton, 79, died peacefully in Boulder, CO, on Thursday, July 13th, after a struggle with cancer. Born in St. Louis, MO, to Essie and Willard Bouchard on August 10th, 1937, MJ was the eldest of three children. The family moved to her grandfather's farm before moving to Flat River, MO, where she grew up and learned to be strong and resilient for the rest of her life.
She married Bill Johnson in 1958 and ultimately settled in Boulder in 1967. Together for 23 years, they had four children. She practiced as a real estate appraiser in the Boulder area for ten years, retiring in 1992. MJ loved the outdoors, especially the Colorado mountains, and was an avid backpacker and hiker for much of her life. She was an accomplished cook and renowned hostess, always ready to
welcome young and old around her dining table. She loved a good party, and impromptu gatherings of friends and family were her
In 1987 MJ married her dear friend and soulmate, Ned Benton, and together they enjoyed life in Lefthand Canyon near Jamestown, mentoring their combined families as well as numerous friends and in-laws. After Ned's untimely death in 1992, MJ "discovered" Tucson,
AZ, and spent nearly 20 winters at her casita there, savoring life in the Sonoran Desert along with her sister and many friends.
She loved dogs, mutts in particular, and they loved her. She was almost never without one throughout her lifetime.
MJ is survived by her four children: Becky Bouchard, Jean Bouchard, and grandchildren Sophie and Gabe Gehorsam, all of Boulder; Bill
Johnson, Jr. (Renée Labourdette), of San Francisco; and Laura Johnson of Seattle. She is also survived by three stepchildren: Ted
Benton of Boulder (formerly married to Lynette Benton) and their children Stephen, Michael, and Taylor; Gregory Benton (Hilda) of Machias, ME, and their son, Alex; Cecilia Tung (Bruce) of Seattle, and their children Max and Allie; and her brother Bob Bouchard
(Marty), and sister Dotty Raby (Dave), as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
A memorial Service will be held August 27th at 2:30 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine St., Boulder, CO 80302.