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Wilda Marie Bristol Bench

Wilda  Marie Bench, 88 years, 10 months, and 14 days old, passed to Heaven on Feb. 24, 2015 at Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare with her family by her side.
Wilda  was born April 10, 1926 in Haddam, Kan., to Claude and Sylvia (Ross) Bellinger.
Wilda’s first job was as a young teenager taking care of a local doctor and his wife. She later waitressed at restaurants, and worked for Dale Moore ranging and raising chickens and turkeys with her husband. She was employed by Rawlings for over 20 years and worked at Sonic, as well as cooking at the cafeteria at the elementary school in Forsyth. Wilda often held two jobs at once and knew the value of hard work.
Wilda was a Christian and a member of the Faith Rock Church in Ava where she and her husband Bill taught young adult classes. She always enjoyed her family. She liked to go fishing, camping, gardening, making quilts and crocheting, playing cards, cooking, and visiting with friends and family.
Her family always came first, if any of her children needed help in any way they could always count on Momma. There were great memories of family gatherings- summers with homemade ice cream, barbecues, and on special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas there were always a lot of her cookies, candies, cakes and pies laid out on display which she guarded with a stern hand until it was time to eat.
Momma also enjoyed going to local music gatherings and square dances, auctions, and garage sales. She had a great sense of humor and enjoyed making people laugh. She loved watching her baby boy race cars every Friday night. Even as Alzheimers took her memory, her sense of humor never faded. Momma kept all the nurses and assistants on their toes until her final days, and you could usually, but not always, get to see her smile and her sparkling blue eyes IF you could get her attention.
Wilda  and  Bill Bristol were united in marriage on Oct. 22, 1944 in Ava and to this union four children were born. She remarried James Bench of Forsyth later in life.
Wilda  was preceded by her parents; her first husband, Bill Bristol; second husband, James Bench; a son, Gary Wayne Bristol; five  grandchildren, Montana Allen, Dakota Wayne, Dalton “J.M.” Bristol, Jesse Ray Bristol Jr., and Paul Lee, two great-grandchildren, Blaine Michael Bristol and Isabella Martine Albritton; and three brothers, John Claude Bellinger, Freddy Eugene Bellinger, and Billy Ray Bellinger.
Wilda  is survived by five children, Carolyn Calhoun and husband, Carl, of Ava, Harlan Dale Bristol and wife, Marty, of Springfield, Mo., Jeff Bristol and wife, Michelle, of Ava, Bill Bristol Jr. and wife, June, of Poplar Grove, Ill., and Jessie Ray Bristol of Houston, Texas; a brother, Lonnie Ross Bellinger and wife, Gail, of Newport, Ark.; a sister, Irene Harriet Beaty, of Pasadena, Texas; and many grandchilren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.
Funeral services for Wilda will be Friday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, with burial in the Ava Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.  in the funeral home. Officiating will be Pastor Oren Alcorn. Memorials may be made to the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center Beauty Shop Fund.
Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneral