Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch (1930 - 2017)

A photo of Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch
Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch
1930 - 2017
updated March 10, 2020
Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch, mother to 2 children, was born on October 11, 1930 in Seattle, Washington. She was born into the Benning family and married into the Kroetch family. She was born to Eileen Constance (Tasker) Benning and George Lawrence Benning, and we currently have no other siblings in her family tree. Marian married Frank Edward Kroetch on March 26, 1949 and they later divorced in July 1968. They gave birth to Pam (Kroetch) Marks and Kathleen Rae (Kroetch) Pinna. She married Jack Vandever in 1970 and they later divorced in 1974. She died on September 10, 2017 at White Blossom Care Center, San Jose, California at age 86. We know that Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch had been residing in Valley Village Retirement Center, in Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California United States.

Joyce Vandever (as she was known in her later years) was a loving mother of two daughters Kathy & Pam, and grandma to two grandchildren Daniel & Layne. Joyce had a half-sister, Lois (Benning) Ewen, the product of her father's first marriage. She also had a step-brother, Chuck Barrett, from her mother's second marriage to Heine Barrett.

She had many friends and relatives in California, Washington state, England and Wales. Her best childhood and lifelong closest friend was Beverley Scoffone in Monte Sereno California. Joyce loved to be a grandmother and spent countless weekends with her grandchildren. She lived in the California Hawaiin mobile home park at 3637 Snell Ave in San Jose for many years when it was a retirement community.

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch Biography

With today's technology we are able to write and share our own history which lasts forever online. Our ancestors never had a chance to document their lives. This biography is dedicated to memorialize the life of Marian Kroetch, honor her ancestry & genealogy, and her immediate Kroetch family.

Most Commonly Known Name

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch

First name


Middle name


Maiden name


Last Name(s)

Nickname(s) or aliases

Joyce Vandever
Grandma Joyce
M. Joyce Vandever




Marian Kroetch was born on in Seattle, King County, Washington United States


Marian Kroetch died on at White Blossom Care Center, in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California United States

Cause of death

Natural causes. Her dementia led to numerous falls which hurt her physically over her last decade. She eventually stopped eating and passed away.

Burial / Funeral

at Ashes scattered throughout, in San Jose, California


Ethnicity & Lineage

Caucasian: Primarily Welsh, German, and Dutch. Grandma was particularly partial to her Welsh/English roots having frequently visited from the States over her life. She introduced the tradition of attending the Scottish Highland games to her children and grandchildren.

Nationality & Locations Lived

United States of America. Born and raised in Bremerton Washington and eventually settled in the California Bay Area. The last fourty or so years she lived in San Jose California.


nominally Baptist

Last Known Residence

Valley Village Retirement Center, in Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California United States


Grade school in Portland OR and Bremerton WA, Bremerton High School, and the University of Washington.


Grandma held various secretarial roles over the years. I remember in the early - mid 1990's I was always amazed at how fast she could type! I was confused at her high WPM as computers didn't exist when she was working full time. She had learned how to type (without typos!) on a typewriter.

She worked both in Emergency Services (on Communication Hill) in San Jose, California and at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center - an emergency hospital & clinic - where both of her daughters ended up working for a number of years as well.

Joyce was highly respected from the janitors to doctors and the board.

Personal Life & Organizations

Grandma was married twice and spent most of her career in secretarial roles in the medical industry. She is best remembered by her two daughters and two grandchildren.

Military Service

Joyce was not part of the military but she was raised in Bremerton Washington which was nearby a military base. During World War 2 the military would often launch hundreds of blimps to protect from possible air bombings.

Average Age

Life Expectancy

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Joyce Vandever In Her Own Words

This was written from Joyce to her grandchildren Daniel & Laynie in February 1991

Laynie and Daniel,

You have had a few questions, Daniel, about the "young" me and I'm sure Laynie will as she gets older, so I am putting my thoughts to paper now since I had incorporated the following into a letter I sent off recently.

My first love is music. The classics, because of growing up with them and my years of piano lessons, and the 1940s, war years with, as has been said, the most romantic music written. (My pre and teen years) But also, I try to see all the Broadway musicals that I am able - My One and Only (Tommy Tune and great Gershin music), Cats, Chorus Line; Pirates of Penzance and Annie (London's Drury Lane and Palace Theatres), and with luck, Les Miserables in June of this year. I ushered for two years at the Circle Star in Redwood City (late 1980s) and saw most of the "big names", Sinatra (great), Tom Jones (too noisy even in the Ladies' Room!), Willie Nelson - kick in the butt!, Johnny Cash, Kay Starr, Perry Como, Liberace, Roger Williams, Harry Belafonte (at the Center), Tony Bennett. These are probably singers that you will never know much about!

I love to travel - have spent 7 or 8 months in the British Isles (my favorite) and the Continent, Greece and Turkey. Most trips were alone - meet lots of the natives that way and I would just hop the train and go where it took me - with a little planning, of course. I enjoy talking to people - from teenagers to the 'old ones' - and met our relatives in Wales whom I have visited since. And Cousins Gwyneth and Jennifer have been over to visit us - when you were a little one, Daniel.

I'm a hard working employee, loyal, good supervisor and trainer, am trusted with much that is confidential, have a good working relationship with all levels of management, enjoy my position and can't wait to retire!! (Keep hoping I will win the Reader's Digest Contest and retire SOON.) If I ever won a lot of money I would buy all my friends the thing they wanted most, each of your mommys and myself a new car and depending on how much, a new house each plus a nice savings account for each of you and lot of money to Martha's Kitchen to feed the hungry!

My greatest joys are my daughters and grandchildren (that's you!) - we're close (I think), can discuss anything - and often do. Probably my greatest 'passion' are the 49ers. I've been a rabid fan since 1950 or 51 and my close friends know better than to telephone me when they are playing because I probably won't answer. But, of course, your moms and I call back and forth on a particularly good play!

My greatest regret was my 2nd marriage and my only envy is a happily married couple. After the 2nd divorce I was so fed up, slightly bitter and afraid that I could not have fun with anyone and, worse yet, no one could have fun with me. Then I met my dear friend 'K' and we had such a wonderful time - so much laughter and closeness - and he died. I really couldn't bear to see anyone else for too many years. And now I've been alone for 15 years which has been long enough to become opinionated, stubborn, and used to doing things one way - MY way!

My other regret is not being able to have had more children. I love them, found them a joy to raise, and would have really enjoyed having foster children. When I worked at Juvenile Probation in the early 70s I wanted to bring half of the kids in the Hall home with me. Later I found I could have a couple but felt I should have a stable man around - not just a home with a working woman.

I'm interested in politics and have usually voted democrat - or independent. Republicans are too concerned with big business, money - and to heck with the people. Cried buckets when the Kennedys were assassinated but then I'm a little soft that way - wand worse with animals (not the eating kind).

One of my 'fun' days would be to curl up with a good book, good music playing, watch a raging storm, have a nice fire (of course, I don't have a fireplace). I enjoy working in the garden - puttering, really - entertaining, cooking (I am a good cook - or at least used to be. Mexican, Italian, German, Chinese, ENglish pancakes or plain old American). Will have to teach one or both of you how to make the English pancakes and you already make good enchiladas, Daniel.

I dislike: hypocrites, gossips, oysters, rudeness, liver, negativity, guns, pessimism, alcoholism and drugs, inconsideration and rudeness or anyone, turnips, discrimination, inequality among the sexes,

I like: antiques, teddy bears, art & wine shows, owls, exploring country roads, movies with happy endings, ballgames of any kind, hotdogs, walking on the beach, collecting shells (collecting most anything!), black olives, ice cream, coconut cake, dogs and cats and mice and guinea pigs, and flowers of all kinds.


Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch Family Tree

Marian's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Kroetch family tree.


Marian's Parents

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch


Eileen Constance (Tasker) Benning
Feb 2, 1908 - January 1987
San Jose, CA, United States
George Lawrence Benning
Apr 21, 1898 - around Aug 23, 1946

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch & Frank Edward Kroetch

March 26, 1949 - July 1968
Cause of Separation: Divorce
Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch


Frank Edward Kroetch
Mar 25, 1927 - Jul 12, 2001
Bellingham, WA, United States of America


Pam (Kroetch) Marks
Born: January 1951
San Jose, California, United States
Kathleen Rae (Kroetch) Pinna
Born: 1949
Campbell, CA, United States

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch & Jack Vandever

1970 - 1974
Cause of Separation: Divorce
Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch



Beverly Clarice (Washington) Scoffone
Born: August 1930
Los Gatos, CA, United States
Al Scoffone
1924 - Mar 6, 2006
Monte Sereno, CA, United States
Charles Henry "Chuck" Barrett Jr.
Apr 16, 1928 - Apr 29, 2009
Dennis R Washington
Born: 1934
Missoula, MT, United States

Share Memories about Marian

What do you remember about Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about her. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Marian is remembered.

Happy Birthday again Grandma!! Today we are working on this new view for bios. that I'm certain the entire community will love. We are really evolving and it's a joy to be working on these series of projects. We've accomplished a lot so far this year.

Thought of you last night while I spent time on GG's bio. I remember while you lived at Valley Village and spent your time feeding the squirrels in the 'cigarette hut'. The last few times you visited Lisa and me at El Rio you repeatedly said that you had dreamed of this house, or rather had spent time here before. When I explained it was a brand new home it confused you. I thought last night perhaps it's because you connected with where you are today in your final years, and are here with me now.

Celebrating your 89th Birthday Grandma. Update: I sent this prematurely on 10/10....NOW that it's officially your birthday (at 1:36am on 10/11) - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Oct 10, 2019 · Reply
We launched the new bio view yesterday! Thanks to your bio for being a testing ground :)
Oct 15, 2019 · Reply
Thank you once again for helping to discover that replies in comments had an issue ;) (lol and just now yet again).
Oct 16, 2019 · Reply
Happy Birthday Grandma! One year ago we went SSL, and today we are dealing with sys ops. Patterns.
Oct 10, 2018 · Reply
Another turn of the wheel . . . and your grandson is still making you proud! :)
Oct 11, 2018 · Reply
Miss you and love you, Mom!
Dec 11, 2017 · Reply
And now we're looking to the first Christmas - but memories of last Christmas are strong! :)
Dec 07, 2017 · Reply
First Thanksgiving without you - but you were here in spirit. We used your mother's plates just like we did all those years ago at your place.
Dec 06, 2017 · Reply
Happy birthday Grandma! We launched ssl version today on your birthday :)
Oct 11, 2017 · Reply
These memories were shared by Naomi B G., a childhood friend:

Sep 13, 2017 · Reply
I'll miss you grandma. What a way to pass! You leave us on National Grandparents Day 2017, a holiday created by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade with whom you share your first name. I hope the water helped you the last few days & you enjoyed the final songs I played for you: Bagpipes Amazing Grace, Frank Sinatra's "Come Dance With Me", & Josh Grobin's "You Raise Me Up". Forever with me. xoxo
Sep 10, 2017 · Reply
RIP Mom.
Sep 10, 2017 · Reply

Marian Kroetch Obituary

This obit of Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch is maintained by Marian's followers. Contribute to her obituary and include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Marian “Joyce” Vandever passed away due to natural causes on Sept. 10, 2017 in San Jose, California.

Joyce was born in Seattle, Washington to George and Eileen “Connie” Tasker Benning. She attended schools in Bremerton, Washington where her father owned the local Chevy dealership. Joyce met her future husband, Frank Kroetch, while both were students at the University of Washington. After their marriage in 1949, they relocated to the Willow Glen area of San Jose, California, where both their daughters were born.

Joyce spent her career working as a secretary at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. She loved traveling to the British Isles, connecting with her many Bremerton High School classmates, and attending plays and musicals.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husbands, Frank Kroetch and Jack Vandever; her sister, Lois Benning Ewen; and stepbrother, Charles H. Barrett. She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Pinna and Pam Marks (Neil); grandchildren, Daniel Pinna (Lisa) and Layne Marks-Jacobs; and numerous nieces and nephews. (Marian 'Joyce' Vandever passed away due to natural causes on September 10, 2017 at the White Blossom Care Center in San Jose, Ca.

Joyce was born in Seattle, Washington to George and Eileen 'Connie' Tasker Benning. She attended schools in Bremerton, Wa where her father owned the local Chevy dealership. While attending the University of Washington, Joyce met her future husband, Frank Kroetch. After their marriage in 1949, they relocated to the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA, where both their daughters were born.

Joyce first worked as an operator at the San Jose Water works, and later spent her career working for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Joyce served in the position as the secretary to the CFO for over 16 years, then retired 5 years later, while secretary to the head of the mental health division.

Joyce loved traveling to the British Isles, taking road trips with her friends, attending plays and musicals, and spending time with her two grandchildren.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, husbands Frank Kroetch and Jack Vandever, her sister Lois Benning Ewen and step-brother Charles H. Barrett. She is survived by her daughters Kathleen and Pam, grandchildren Daniel and Layne, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Marian “Joyce” Vandever
San Jose, CA
Oct. 11, 1930 to Sept. 10, 2017

Followers & Sources
Other Records of Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch

1930 - 2017 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Marian's lifetime

In 1930, in the year that Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch was born, as head of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, William Hays established a code of decency that outlined what was acceptable in films. The public - and government - had felt that films in the '20's had become increasingly risque and that the behavior of its stars was becoming scandalous. Laws were being passed. In response, the heads of the movie studios adopted a voluntary "code", hoping to head off legislation. The first part of the code prohibited "lowering the moral standards of those who see it", called for depictions of the "correct standards of life", and forbade a picture from showing any sort of ridicule towards a law or "creating sympathy for its violation". The second part dealt with particular behavior in film such as homosexuality, the use of specific curse words, and miscegenation.

In 1955, when she was 25 years old, on September 30th, movie star James Dean, 24, died in a car accident. He was headed in his new Porsche 550 to a race in Salinas California when, traveling at 85 mph, he collided with a 1950 Ford Tudor, also speeding, driven by a 23 year old college student. Dean died, his passenger and the other driver survived.

In 1965, she was 35 years old when from August 11 to 16, riots broke out in Watts, a Black section of Los Angeles. An allegedly drunk African-American driver was stopped by LA police and, after a fight, police brutality was alleged - and the riots began. 34 people died in the rioting and over $40 million in property damage occurred. The National Guard was called in to help the LA police quell rioting.

In 1978, when she was 48 years old, on July 25th, Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby", was born at Oldham Hospital in London. Louise was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), a controversial and experimental procedure at the time.

In 1998, when she was 68 years old, on December 19th, the movie Titanic - based on the 1912 sinking of the ship and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - was released. Winning 11 Oscars, it was the first film to gross over a billion dollars and eventually grossed over $2 billion.

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