Melva Beatrice Thompson
Oct. 29, 1940 – Oct. 31, 2020
Melva Beatrice Benziger Nichols Thompson, 80, a long-time resident of Stanislaus County and mother of Ceres Courier editor Jeff Benziger died Saturday afternoon at Turlock Nursing & Rehabilitation Center following a brief illness.
Born in Talihina, Okla., to Chester and Oneta Dodd, Melva came to Oakland as a small girl and in 1943 moved to Livingston where she attended grade school and graduated from Livingston High School in 1958. It was there that she met her future husband, Robert Benziger. For most of their marriage they lived in Mountain View, Milpitas, Modesto and Oakdale. They divorced in 1977. Other husbands were the late Ronald C. Nichols Jr. and Ken Thompson. Mrs. Thompson worked as a teller at Crocker Bank in Modesto in the 1970s and retired from PG&E, having worked as a clerk in their Manteca, Oakdale and Stockton offices. She spent her last years living in Atwater before moving to Turlock for the past three years. She enjoyed being one of Aaron Tippin’s number one fans. As a huge Elvis fan, she enjoyed her last trip in September 2019 to see Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., with son Jeff and grandson Bret.
She leaves behind three sons, Jeff Benziger of Modesto, Kevin Benziger of Oakdale and Jason Benziger of Oahu, Hawaii; two brothers, Roy Dodd of Livingston and Donald Dodd of Palm Springs; and seven grandchildren, Bret Benziger, Brandon Benziger, Jennifer Odom, Jeremy Benziger, Joshua Benziger, Tyler Benziger and Justin Benziger; and numerous great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Carl Dodd.
Remembrances may be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
–Ceres (Calif.) Courier
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020