Mrs. Janet Benefiel passed away March 12, 2013. Mrs. Benefiel was the former first Lady of NTS
and wife of Dr. Ron Benefiel, President Emeritus of NTS. Her funeral service was held in San Diego on Saturday March 16; and a memorial service for her was held in Kansas City at NTS on May 18.
Janet Benefiel was born September 30, 1957, in Whittier, CA, the fourth child and second daughter of Don and Dottie Windoffer. She graduated from South Pasadena High School, Point Loma Nazarene University (Home Economics) and Cal State University in Los Angeles (Masters of Arts in Nutrition). Janet married Ron Benefiel in 1980. Their home was blessed with three delightful children, Leanne (1985), Robyn (1988) and Timothy (1990) and one wonderful granddaughter, Harlowe Mercy Richardson (2012).
Janet and Ron were a team together in life and ministry. Their commitment to Christ and the Church led them to ministry assignments in Los Angeles (1982-1996), kansas City (2000-2011), and San Diego (1996-2000, 2011-2013). Janet was fully engaged in the community life and ministry of the local church wherever they lived. Her hospitality was legendary. She transformed houses into homes of welcome and warmth, hosting countless Bible studies, parties, and dinner engagements. She welcomed family members, friends, visiting professors, students and many others for extended stay in the Benefiel “bed and breakfast.”
Janet was an avid reader and life-long learner. Her commitment to Christ led her to study the Scriptures and to explore the mysteries of God through the study of theology. Over time, she developed an unusual depth of understanding of the nature of suffering, care for the poor, and the hope we have as Christians in the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints in the final day. She was a careful steward of the family’s resources, always looking for ways to stretch the family income while ensuring their continued giving to the church ministries and missions.
Janet had a very big heart and profound concern for people in need. After her diagnosis with breast cancer she continued to look for ways to put her faith into practice rather than letting cancer define her life. She spent her early morning hours studying the Word. She was concerned for those in Africa who had little access to adequate medical care and prayed for and connected with a woman with AIDS in Swaziland. She volunteered in Leanne’s first grade classroom, and “adopted” several children who were living in dire need. As her health failed, she asked for help by giving used clothing to children in need at Leanne’s school – the “non-event event.” Even while struggling with her own pain, her compassion and concern for others was her priority.
Janet leaves a wonderful legacy: her children, all married and serving the Lord; friends and family who have benefitted from her example of hospitality and compassionate Christianity; her life, committed to Christ and the Church in hope and anticipation of His soon return.
May it be so…