14 March 2019, Allyson Hart Benavides, 55, of Fredericksburg passed away in her sleep at her home.
She was a devoted Navy wife, an accomplished painter, an instructional systems designer, a brilliant writer, and a musician, but her greatest passion was her family.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband and best friend of 28 years, Commander Cris Benavides (USN, Ret.), of Fredericksburg, her beloved daughters Rachel (Chris), of Alexandria, and Elizabeth (Jonathan), of Charlottesville, her loving mother Linda Hart of Norfolk, her favorite sister and other best friend, Lynelle Lawrence and her loving husband, John, of Charlottesville, and a host of other close family and friends.
Waiting for her in Heaven are her daughter, Isabella, her father, Phillip Hart, of Norfolk, her grandparents Jesse Mac and Ruth Ingrum of Norfolk and John Goode (Red) and Elsie Hart, also of Norfolk.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, she attended McLea School, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Collegiate, and then Old Dominion University, graduating in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.
Growing up, Allyson was recognized for her business acumen as the National Young Businesswoman of the Year, President of the National Association of Junior Achievement, head delegate of Model UN, Girls’ State recipient, and a graduate assistant and teacher with the Dale Carnegie Training Courses. In college, she was an RA, and a member of Phi Mu Sorority and Omicron Delta Kappa English Honor Society.
Allyson began her career working as a Management Consultant for Tidewater Consultants (now ManTech Inc.). She quickly established herself as a top-tier technical writer and proposal manager. Her career then segued into instructional systems design. She developed some of the first online training courses for Microsoft software products, which were taught in colleges and universities across the country. She then worked for a variety of Defense and commercial firms, and was one of the first to incorporate gaming into curriculum development. Her last contract was supporting Google for a special learning project.
But most important in Allyson’s life were her family, and her faith. While supporting her husband through many deployments, she raised two intelligent, strong, independent women, who were her pride and joy. Her faith in God was an example to family and friends alike. Her memory will be cherished by all who knew her.
Interment will be held at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Chris and the family ask that donations be made to the Lupus Foundation of America.