Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch (1930 - 2017)

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch
1930 - 2017
updated August 26, 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. 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.
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Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch Biography

Vital facts & highlights of Marian's life to share with the world.

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch
Most commonly known name
Female
Gender
Marian
First name
Joyce
Middle name
Benning
Maiden name
Joyce Vandever, Grandma Joyce, M. Joyce Vandever
Nickname(s) or aliases
Valley Village Retirement Center, in Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California United States
Last known residence
Marian Kroetch was born on in Seattle, King County, Washington United States
Birth
Marian Kroetch died on at White Blossom Care Center, in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California United States
Death
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
Birth
Death
Natural causes. Her dementia led to numerous falls which hurt her physically over her last decade. She eventually stopped eating and passed away.
Cause of death
at Ashes scattered throughout, in San Jose, California
Burial / Funeral

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.

Religion

nominally Baptist

Education

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

Professions

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.

A further note: When she was pregnant with me (her eldest), she worked at Gerber Foods, a local cannery, on the line. After I and my sister were born, she worked on the switchboard at San Jose Water Company. When we moved to Seattle for a few years, she worked as office help for a dentist and then when we moved back to Santa Clara County (Saratoga), she worked through Manpower, a temporary help agency. The majority of her professional life was spent in some capacity around the medical profession.

When Joyce was in high school, she volunteered as a Candy Striper at a local hospital. To her great dismay, she was assigned a patient by room number and when she got to the room, she discovered that it was her father. She didn't even know that her father was ill - and that it was terminal. The experience haunted her during her entire life.

The medical profession seems to be a generational theme running through her maternal line. Joyce's Welsh grandmother, when she didn't get along with her stepmother, moved as a teen to London and worked "with the Sisters". Her mother, in her later life, worked as a vocational nurse at a nursing home in Seattle, a hospital in Seward Alaska, a hospital in Redwood City CA, and as a caretaker in Mesa, AZ. So Joyce followed suit? Joyce's eldest worked in the Public Health Dept. out of college, and off and on at a local hospital. Her other daughter retired from the same hospital.

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 had a military base (naval). 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.

Grandma

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch Family Tree

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

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Marian's Parents

Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch

Parents:

Feb 2, 1908 - January 1987
Apr 21, 1898 - c. Aug 23, 1946

Relationships:

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Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch & Frank Edward Kroetch

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

Spouse:

Mar 25, 1927 - Jul 12, 2001

Children:

January 1951 - Unknown
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Marian Joyce (Benning) Kroetch & Jack Vandever

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

Spouse:

Unknown - Unknown

Friends:

1924 - Mar 6, 2006
Apr 16, 1928 - Apr 29, 2009
1934 - Living

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.

Kathy Pinna
24.4k+ favorites
RIP Mom.
Sep 10, 2017 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
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
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
These memories were shared by Naomi B G., a childhood friend:
I FIRST MET YOUR MOM IN FOURTH GRADE WHEN THEY CAME TO BREMERTON. SHE USE(D) TO WEAR HER VERY LONG, THICK BEAUTIFUL HAIR IN ONE LONG BRAID DOWN HER BACK. I WAS SO ENVIOUS!

ALSO REMEMBER WHEN SHE TURNED 13 HER DAD GAVE HER 13 SILVER DOLLARS AND NONE OF US HAD SEEN THEM BEFORE! SO MANY THOUGHTS RUNNING THROUGH MY MIND! THERE WERE TIMES THAT SHE COULD MAKE ME LAUGH SO HARD! SILLY GIRLS!!
Sep 13, 2017 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
Happy birthday Grandma! We launched ssl version today on your birthday :)
Oct 11, 2017 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
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
Kathy Pinna
24.4k+ favorites
And now we're looking to the first Christmas - but memories of last Christmas are strong! :)
Dec 07, 2017 · Reply
Kathy Pinna
3.04k+ favorites
Miss you and love you, Mom!
Dec 11, 2017 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
Happy Birthday Grandma! One year ago we went SSL, and today we are dealing with sys ops. Patterns.
Oct 10, 2018 · Reply
Kathy Pinna
24.4k+ favorites
Another turn of the wheel . . . and your grandson is still making you proud! :)
Oct 11, 2018 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
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
Daniel Pinna
475 favorites
We launched the new bio view yesterday! Thanks to your bio for being a testing ground :)
Oct 15, 2019 · Reply
Daniel Pinna
5.06k+ favorites
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

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, on August 6th, N.Y. Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater went through papers in his office, destroyed some of them, withdrew all his money from the bank - $5,150, sold his stock, met friends at a restaurant for dinner and disappeared after getting into a taxi (or walking down the street - his friends' testimony later changed). His disappearance was reported to the police on September 3rd - almost a month later. His wife didn't know what happened, his fellow Justices had no idea, and his mistresses (he had several) said that they didn't know. While his disappearance was front page news, his fate was never discovered and after 40 years the case was closed, still without knowing if Crater was dead or alive.

In 1946, at the age of 16 years old, Marian was alive when pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock's book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" was published. It sold half a million copies in the first six months. Aside from the Bible, it became the best selling book of the 20th century. A generation of Baby Boomers were raised by the advice of Dr. Spock.

In 1955, at the age of 25 years old, Marian was alive when in January, President Eisenhower sent direct aid to South Vietnam. In February, U.S. advisors were sent to train troops.

In 1973, she was 43 years old when on August 15th, amidst rising calls for the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Congress imposed an end to the bombing of Cambodia.

In 1988, when she was 58 years old, on December 16th, 1988 the popular film Rain Man was released. Featuring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. this film brought attention to autistic savants and was based on the "megasavant" Laurence Kim Peek. The film would later go to win four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role.

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