Skip to content

Denise ‘Nessie’ Benefield

(ROANOKE) Denise “Nessie” Benefield, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister, passed away peacefully at her residence on July 6, 2023. Born on Oct. 6, 1967, in Roanoke, Nessie was known for her loving, creative, and kind spirit that touched everyone she met.

Nessie is survived by her devoted husband, Marvin Benefield, and their three children, Dulecha Gregg, Melody Couscos (Demetri) and Tundra Benefield. She was a proud grandmother to 10 grandchildren, who brought immense joy and laughter to her life. Nessie was the daughter of James G. Williams (Faye) and was cherished by her siblings, Vickie East, Carl Williams (Annabelle), Timothy Williams (Lindsey) and Amy Brown (Justin). She also leaves behind her uncle, Johnny Whitten; aunt, Gail Ashworth; and several nieces, nephews and cousins, all of whom will miss her dearly.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Ernestine Williams; grandparents, Evelyn and Harvey Williams and Ava and Jackson Whitten; uncles, Rodger Whitten and Raymond Whitten; nephew, James Barnes; and son-in-law, Mahalo Gregg.

Nessie was a pillar of the Fredonia community, where she was an active member of the Fredonia Community Club and a former member of the Fredonia Volunteer Fire Department. She took great pleasure in participating in the annual Fredonia BBQ, where her infectious laughter and warm personality were always the highlight of the event. Nessie’s commitment to her community was a testament to her generous spirit and her belief in the power of unity and togetherness.

A woman of many interests, Nessie was an avid fan of Alabama football and NASCAR racing. She found joy and relaxation in camping, particularly in the mountains, where she felt a deep connection with nature. Nessie’s creative spirit shone through in her love for quilting and arts and crafts, activities she often shared with her children and grandchildren. She also had a fondness for collecting dolls, a hobby that reflected her appreciation for beauty and craftsmanship.

Above all, Nessie was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her family was her greatest pride and joy, and she dedicated her life to nurturing and supporting them. Her love was a constant, comforting presence in their lives, and her memory will continue to inspire and guide them.

A memorial service for Nessie will be held on Sunday, July 23, at 3 p.m. at the Roanoke Church of the Nazarene. The Rev. Ricky Etchinson will officiate. Nessie’s family will receive friends at the church following the service.

In remembering Nessie, we celebrate a life lived with kindness, creativity, and love. Her legacy will live on in the hearts of those she touched, in the community she served, and in the family she loved so dearly. Nessie’s spirit, her laughter, and her love will be deeply missed, but her memory will forever be a beacon of light and love.

Please visit Nessie’s Memorial Tribute page at to leave a kind word for her family, to share a memory of Nessie, or to light a Remembrance Candle in her memory.

Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley directing.