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Jennifer Murphy Benford

Jennifer Murphy Benford passed away at home Dec. 23, after a battle with Alzheimer’s.

A graveside service will be held Dec. 27 at the Phil Campbell Cemetery at 11 a.m., with Pinkard Funeral Home directing and Bro. Terry Buster officiating.

Born at home Aug. 10, 1945, in the Union community, Jennifer lived most of her life in Franklin County. As a baby, she moved with her family to central Florida, where her daddy was a migrant truck driver in the orange groves during the harvest seasons of 1945 and 1946.

Growing up, Jennifer attended Union and Phil Campbell schools.

She married Terry Benford July 26, 1962, and they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for about a year. After returning to Phil Campbell, she attended trade school in Hamilton and became a licensed cosmetologist. She worked as a beautician for more than 40 years and was much beloved by her clients.

Nicknamed Jitterbug by her daddy when she was very young, it was eventually shortened to Bug, and that is what she was called by friends and family for the rest of her life.

In 1990 she got her favorite name of all: “Grandbug.”

Jennifer was an active member of First Baptist Church of Phil Campbell, where she served as a preschool teacher for many years. An outstanding cook, Jennifer loved preparing meals for her family and friends. She also loved the beach, Alabama athletics and spending time with her family.

Her beautiful smile could light up a room, and she will be greatly missed.

Jennifer was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur Belton and Loretta Oliver Murphy; brother, Tim Murphy; sister, Joan Wilson; and her mother-in-law, Sallie Benford.

She leaves behind to cherish her memories her husband of 59 years, Terry; children, Cindy (John) and Josh (Tessa); grandchildren, Brooks and Allie Grace Merrill and Brandtley and Kinsley Benford; brother, Birvin Murphy; sisters-in-law, Jackie Hutcheson (Tommy), Sarah Nix and Janice Anderson; brothers-in-law, J.M. Benford (Joan) and Billy Wilson, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Bruce Swinney, Phillip Fleming, Wyatt Hutcheson, Randy Ergle, Brooks Merrill and Robin Wilson. 

The family would like to thank the caregivers from Burns Rehab and Hospice of North Alabama for the wonderful care over the past few weeks. Also, many thanks to our friends and family for the calls, visits, food and, most especially, prayers over these past few weeks. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, First Baptist Church of Phil Campbell or a charity of personal choice.

Our hearts are broken, but we do not mourn as those who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13. We are grateful for the promise of Jesus. We will see her again.