On Feb. 4, 2021, Heaven gained one more angel. Barbara J. (Benson) Davis, 82, passed away at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland after a long battle with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.
Barbara was born in Lebanon on March 12, 1938, the daughter of Maurice and Daisy (Creighton) Benson. She grew up on her parents’ Benayr Farm on Hardy Hill along with her three sisters and four brothers. She always thought she had the best childhood imaginable with her Ayrshire cattle and horses.
She was raised in Lebanon and attended local schools, graduating from Lebanon High School with the class of 1956. Barbara was very active in high school, playing field hockey and basketball (co-captain), along with various class and student council positions, and was selected Winter Carnival Queen. She was active for 10 years in 4-H receiving many awards along with being selected to represent New Hampshire at the National 4-H Camp in Washington, D.C. She had been the recipient of the New Hampshire Citizenship Award.
She attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. While at UNH she was active in sports, playing on the women’s varsity field hockey and lacrosse teams, was a dorm counselor, a member of the senior class council and on the dean’s list. Her senior year, Barbara was selected to be the New Hampshire Dairy Princess and went to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the national contest. As New Hampshire’s Dairy Princess she represented New Hampshire on Dairy Day at Fenway Park and was escorted from home plate to first base by Red sox catcher Sammy White — an experience she often shared.
Barbara and her husband operated Peterbarb Farm, a registered Ayrshire Dairy farm, for many years, first in Chateaugay, N.Y., and then in Jaffrey. Barbara enjoyed showing her registered Ayrshire cattle at various county and state fairs throughout the Northeast, winning many awards and trophies. During this time Barbara was also active with the National Ayrshire Dairy Cattle Association, which included traveling throughout the U.S. and trips to Scotland, England and Kenya. While at the World Dairy Show in London she had the opportunity to visit with Prince Charles, who was also attending the Show — one of her highlights.
She was also active in other areas in her lifetime: as a daycare administrator at Monadnock Daycare in Peterborough; a home economics teacher at Conant High School in Jaffrey; and in real estate for Despres Real Estate and was awarded Realtor of the Year.
Barbara’s passions were horses, playing tennis, bridge, knitting and spinning yarn made from her angora rabbits. She was a member of the N.H. Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee, the Plantation Golf and Country Club and was the first female to be selected for the Plantation Tennis Hall of Fame. She and her husband had a “bucket list” to visit all 50 states and all 234 cities and towns in New Hampshire, which they were able to accomplish.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 60 years, Peter Davis, of Jaffrey; her daughter, Jacquelyn Davis, of Jaffrey; her son, Peter “Ben” Davis, of Cumming, Ga.; her brother, Donald Benson, of West Plains, Mo.; her sisters: Elizabeth Tilton of Manchester; Patricia Battersby of Concord; and Arolyn Berube of Venice, Fla.; her grandchild, great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her brothers, Bob Benson, Bill Benson and Maurice Benson.
A graveside service will be held in the spring at the Old Burying Ground in Jaffrey Center.
Barbara’s family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Maplewood Nursing Home for the excellent care and attention she received as she lived with her Alzheimer’s disease. They are special.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Barbara’s name may be made to the Ayrshire Breeder’s Association, 1224 Alton Darby Creek Road, Suite B, Columbus, OH 43228; or to the Alzheimer’s Association of New Hampshire, 166 South River Road, No. 210, Bedford NH 03110.
To share memories, photographs and condolences with Barbara’s family, please visit www.cournoyerfh.com