Elizabeth “Liz” Barrett Bravo Benson, cherished wife, mother, sister and friend, passed away April 30, 2022 in Wolfeboro, NH. Liz was born December 3, 1947, the second child to Lucia and Robert Bravo of Troy, OH. Young Liz developed a deep love for horses, playing 'Pony Express' riding her beloved Quarter Horse, Apache. She was also known for her athletic prowess across the playing fields. Liz attended Troy schools until high school and graduated from Miss Hall's School in 1965.
While studying Fine Arts at the University of Denver, Liz met Peter Allen Benson of Evanston, IL. Like Peter, Liz felt most at home near the forest, mountains, or sea and the pair fell in love while exploring the vast peaks and rivers of the Rocky Mountains. Inspired by their adventures, Liz merged her artistic talents with her love of nature and plants, both wild and cultivated, and completed her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Colorado-Denver. Shortly after graduation Liz and Peter were married in St. Simons, Georgia, October 1978.
In 1983 they started their family, welcoming daughters Adrienne, and 15 months later, Liza, in Liz’s hometown Troy, Ohio. The family of four soon moved to Westfield, New Jersey where the arrival of Liz’s treasured son, Cole, completed the family of five. Thereafter, the Bensons moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1990. Liz devoted herself to her children with the same ferocity as all her other passions. She ran soccer field sidelines with Liza, bought pointe shoes with Adrie, and shot hoops with Cole. Her constant intellectual curiosity inspired excellence in all pursuits and led the family on many laughter-filled escapades. Whether it was garden hopping the Cotswolds, navigating winding Wales roads, hiking ruins in the Cyclades, sailing foggy coves of Blue Hill, Maine, or skiing the epic steep slopes of Grand Teton National Park, a spontaneous ‘Liz-venture’ was not to be missed.
Regardless of the locale, Liz was happiest with her hands in the dirt, nurturing growth. Her passion proved brightest at the intersection of community improvement through outdoor public space and native landscaping, culminating in designing the national award-winning Hobart Urban Nature Preserve. She was also known to strike-up conversations with anyone and everyone. Her natural and genuine inquisitiveness made others feel comfortable, and her extensive knowledge made her relatable to all.
After seeing her daughters off to college, the family moved to sunny Vero Beach, Florida. There Liz poured her heart into caring for mother Lucia, enjoyed golfing, full-moon picnics and cherry tomato sunsets with Peter, Cole and brothers Jonathan and Alexandre. The Vero Beach Museum of Art and St. Edwards School, among others, benefitted from her generosity and infectious creative energy.
Tragedy afflicted Liz for several years, with Peter’s passing in 2006, followed by brother Jonathan, mother Lucia, and daughter Liza’s death in 2013. Her deeply broken heart struggled to heal.
Liz spent her final 2 years smiling on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, sailing with brother Stephen and reminiscing with sisters Sylvia and Hotie. Liz continued to pursue her passions of painting, gardening, and piano playing. Her favorite times were visits from Adrienne and Cole, especially when they shared a sweet treat. Liz will be remembered most for her eternal love of family, adventurous spirit, and limitless creativity.
Liz is survived by her children, Adrienne and Peter Coleman Benson, sisters Hylton Hard and Sylvia Larsen, brothers Stephen and Alexandre Bravo and numerous loving cousins, nieces and nephews. Predeceased by husband Peter Allen Benson, daughter Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Gray Benson, brother Jonathan Cahill Bravo, and parents Lucia Hobart Bravo and Robert Barrett Bravo.
A Funeral Service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 S. Dorset Rd., Troy, OH Sunday, May 8, 2020, at 2:00 P.M. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 11:30 AM until 1:15 PM at Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, Troy. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 9, 2022 at Riverside Cemetery, Troy. Arrangements entrusted to Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, Troy. Condolences may be left for the family at www.fisher-cheneyfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: Astoria Hot Springs, Jackson, WY; Hobart Nature Preserve, Troy, OH; and Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy Vero Beach, FL.
Sunday, May 8th:
9:00 AM: Walk at Hobart Urban Nature Preserve (designed by Liz) - 1400 Tyrone Rd. Troy, OH 45373 This address will bring you to our meeting place, the parking area.
11:30 AM: Visitation - Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home - 1124 W Main St Troy, OH 45373
2:00 PM: Funeral Service - Trinity Episcopal Church - 60 S. Dorset Rd. Troy, OH 45373
3:15/3:30pm: Reception to follow at Steel House Farm - 995 Polecat Rd. Troy, OH 45373
Monday, May 9th:
10:00AM Burial Service Riverside Cemetery 101 Riverside Dr. Troy, OH 45373
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth Benson, please visit our floral store.
Hobart Urban Nature Preserve via the Troy Foundation Troy, Ohio
Troy OH 45373
Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach FL 32960
Astoria Hot Springs
In Memory of Liz Benson for Liza’s Pool”, Jackson WY 83001