Candace Renee Benefiel
July 7, 1957 – August 1, 2017
Candace Renee Benefiel, aged 60, died peacefully surrounded by friends and family on August 1, 2017, after a difficult struggle with cancer. A memorial gathering will be held to celebrate Candace’s life at Texas A&M’s Sterling C. Evans Library.
Candace was born on July 7, 1957, in Freeport, Texas, the daughter of Donald C. and Lois Benefiel. She grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas, was raised in the First United Methodist Church of Lake Jackson, attended A.P. Beutel Elementary School, Lake Jackson Intermediate School, and graduated with honors from Brazoswood High School. Candace participated in Girl Scouts, band, and loved to ride her appaloosa horse, Choctaw. She went on to attend Rice University, where she was a member of the Marching Owl Band, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Classics. She also earned two master’s degrees; Master of Library Science from UT Austin, and Master of English from West Texas State University. Candace was a tenured professor in the Texas A&M University Libraries and was working on her dissertation for a Ph.D in English through Texas A&M University at the time of her death. She also was a respected member of the Texas A&M Honor Council.
Candace was a dear friend, a mentor, a brilliant writer and poet. She composed and performed beautiful music, and participated in the medieval musical group, Heartsease. Candace spent twenty-nine years mentoring and advising student Quiz Bowl teams at Texas A&M University, including the National Champion Quiz Bowl Team in 2006. She could recite the lyrics to about a million songs by heart. She loved the music of Neil Diamond, the Society for Creative Anachronism, Renaissance festivals, museums, and theater. She looked fabulous in a Steampunk-decorated top hat that she created herself, and enjoyed primitive camping, pecan pie, all things vampire, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Colorado, and chocolate. Her dogs were her children, and she cared for them as any mother would their child. She was an internationally respected scholar of vampire literature and fandom, and leaves behind many friends who shared her love of the television show, Moonlight
Candace is preceded in death by her parents, Don and Lois, and her sister, Jeanne Ann Benefiel. She leaves behind her niece and her niece’s husband, Elizabeth Renee and George Kelley of Conroe, TX; aunt, Margaret Winters of Galveston, TX; aunt and uncle, Helen and Gerald Prilliman of Oklahoma City, OK; great-niece and her husband, Rebecca and Alex Lambeth of Westworth Village, TX; great-nephew, Scott Kanski of Lake Jackson, TX; great-nieces, Amber and Robin Kelley of Montgomery, TX; friend and caregiver, Roger Wright of College Station, TX; many cousins, a plethora of dear friends, and her beloved dogs, Quintana, Kismet, and Lucky.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to the Association of Former Students – Texas A&M University scholarship memorial page through the Aggie Network in Candace’s name at https://www.aggienetwork.com/give/ , or the Australian Shepherd rescue group, Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline, Inc. at http://aussierescue.org/donate.
For more information on Candace’s Memorial Gathering, please contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org .