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Gerold E. Benoist
In Memory of
Gerold E.
Benoist Sr.
1934 - 2023
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Obituary for Gerold E. Benoist Sr.

Gerold E.  Benoist Sr.
Gerold (Jerry) Eugene Benoist, Sr., 88, passed away on February 1, 2023 at OCH Regional Medical Center.
He was born on October 10, 1934 in St. Louis, MO and graduated from Central High School in St. Louis. He remained in St. Louis until he joined the United States Marine Corp in 1953. As a sergeant in the Marines, Jerry studied aviation mechanics. He served in Japan and was honorably discharged July of 1956.
After the Marines, he accepted a position as aviation technician and shop manager at the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory/Department of Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University. Jerry loved his job in aerospace and helped with several recognized projects. He helped construct the XV-11A Marvel which would be the first of its kind constructed solely from composite materials. Jerry also worked with the Honda Corporation to construct the Honda MH-01 jet. With 36 years of service, he retired from MSU July 30, 1992. After his retirement from MSU, he continued to work for Honda a few additional years.

Although Jerry spent many hours at his job and working at home, he always made time for family. It is in Starkville where he met the love of his life, Mary Anne Miller Benoist. He and Mary Anne married in 1958 and were married for 59 years until her death in 2017. Together they raised three children in Longview where they were members of Longview Methodist Church. He and his son would regularly hunt and fish together with their main interest being deer hunting. Jerry would always give up hunting the day after Thanksgiving to take his wife and daughters shopping on Black Friday. He also went with his daughters every May and October to the Canton Flea Market. He would return to St. Louis each year to visit family and take his children and grandchildren to the Arch, Six Flags, and St. Louis Zoo until he was no longer able to travel.
In his free time, he liked gardening and woodworking. He was known in the community for his carpentry work and could fix anything according to his children.

He is rejoicing to be reunited with his wife Mary Anne, his mother Sylvia Hopkins and stepfather, Vernon Hopkins.

Left behind to treasure his memories are his son Gerold Eugene “Gene” Benoist, Jr. (Penny), daughters Gay Benoist Willcutt (Jim) and Cheryl Benoist Dill (Dennis) all of Starkville. He will also be missed by his six grandchildren - Bree Anne Willcutt McMinn (Miller), Garland Willcutt, Ashton Benoist Burton (Brian), Brittany Benoist, Cody Dill, and Maddie Dill as well as four great-grandchildren - Natalie Anne McMinn, Newt McMinn, Sylvie Kate McMinn and Olivia Burton. He is also survived by his only brother, Roy Benoist, of St. Louis, MO.

Visitation will be held at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville, MS on Friday, February 3, 2023, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. with the funeral service immediately following visitation. Burial will follow at Memorial Garden Park Cemetery, Starkville, MS with Pallbearers being Cody Dill, Miller McMinn, Brian Burton, Billy Barmore, Noah Aweau and Taylor Ray.

Memorials may be made to Longview Methodist Church, 459 Woodcreek Road, Starkville, MS 39759.

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