COLUMBIA — Carylon J. (White) Benthall of Columbia stressed honesty more than anything when she raised her son Dan E. Benthall.
Benthall recalled his mother as "the honestest person you would meet in this world."
"You may not want to hear what she said, but she would never lie for you or to you," he said. "That is how honest she was."
She died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at University Hospital. She was 72.
She was born April 13, 1941, in Truman, Ark., to Delbert White and Lucille Scroggins. She married Marvin E. Benthall on Dec. 5, 1956.
After she graduated from nursing school at MU, Mrs. Benthall joined the military from 1975 to 1978. She attained the rank of Master Sergeant.
"She would be gone weeks at a time for missions," he said. "We did not know where she was at."
Benthall said a call from the military used to inform him that his mom was coming home. Then the family would go to Cosmo Park, the old airport in Columbia, to pick up Mrs. Benthall where a "big green helicopter" dropped her off.
"That was when you knew your mom was home," he said.
For 20 years, Mrs. Benthall helped people pay for low-income housing. She was a migrant worker when she was young and felt sympathy toward people who didn't have a place to call home, her son said.
"She financed them out of her pocket or borrowed the money to help people," he said. "We still have people that we financed 25 years ago come bring foods and flowers and thank my parents for giving them opportunities to own their house."
A couple of years ago, the Benthalls counted families they assisted and found they helped 105 families get home, he said.
"She wanted to help out people who were unfortunate," Benthall said.
Oil paintings completed by Mrs. Benthall hang on the wall of her house She started painting in her spare time when she was 40 years old.
Benthall said she was remarkable at painting with good detail.
"Our house is full of her artwork now," he said.
Survivors include her husband, Marvin E. Benthall, of Columbia; a son, Dan E. Benthall of Columbia; two brothers, Dwayne and Larry White, both of St. Louis.
A son, Marvin Dean Benthall, died earlier.
Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow in the chapel. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.