(LINEVILLE) The funeral for Edward Zealus "E. Z." Benefield, 93, of Lineville will be Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Lineville Baptist Church with Pastor Ben Curlee and the Rev. Jerry Colquett officiating. Burial will follow in Lineville City Cemetery.

Mr. Benefield passed away Sunday, April 25, in Lineville Health and Rehabilitation Center.

He was a Randolph County native, born in the Hobson community, the son of Lawson David and Bertha Wilson Benefield. E.Z. attended Rock Stand School and Randolph County High School, and at the age of 18, joined the U.S. Merchant Marine service, sailing on the S.S. Nick Stoner. Shortly after completing his term of service, he joined the U.S. Army. Following his honorable discharge, Mr. Benefield began his career in law enforcement with the LaGrange (Ga.) Police Department. It was there he met his life partner and wife of almost 70 years, Bobbie Jean Wadsworth, marrying her on Christmas Day 1951.

In 1957, E.Z. moved his young family to Pompano Beach, Fla., where he served as a motorcycle patrol officer with the Pompano Beach Police Department. Ten years later, the family returned to "home in the country" in Randolph County. Once settled in, he took over the operation of the family business - Benefield Grocery, managed a large cattle farm for the F.S. McManus family and also worked as a rural route carrier for Roanoke Post Office. In 1972, E.Z. and his brother Donald established Benefield Funeral Home in Wedowee. It was there he found his life's work and true calling: funeral service. In 1975 the business expanded to Clay County with E.Z. relocating his family, putting down roots in Lineville and managing Benefield Funeral Home in Lineville. Over the next 40+ years, he served the public with generosity, compassion and dignity. E.Z. brought his three sons and grandson into the business, teaching by example the meaning of the credo "A Family Tradition of Professional Service with Personal Care." In his spare time, he did find time to serve his community in many other ways, including Clay County Exchange Club, Lineville Masonic Lodge # 219 F & AM, and as a member and deacon at Lineville Baptist Church.

Mr. Benefield is survived by his wife, Bobbie W. Benefield; three sons, Scott Benefield (Nancy), Matt Benefield (Sandra) and David Benefield (Lynn), all of Lineville; two sisters, Pauline Jackson of LaGrange and Orene Crenshaw of Roanoke; five grandchildren, Mary Dyer (Reiley), Sam Benefield, Lawson Benefield (fiance' Katie), Lana Benefield and Leah Benefield; great-grandson, Luke Dyer; and four sisters-in-law, Linda W. Giles, Nanette Price, Jenny Wadsworth and Alice Benefield. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Carl, D.V., Dorsey, Ralph and Donald Benefield; plus two infant sisters, Wilma and Irene.

Deacons of Lineville Baptist Church will serve as active pallbearers. The staff of Hospice of Clay County and Lineville Health and Rehabilitation Center will serve as honorary pallbearers.

The family requests no flowers. They would appreciate contributions in memory of Mr. E.Z. be made to the Hospice of Clay County, P.O. Box 1270, Ashland, AL 36251. A public viewing will be held Friday, April 30, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Benefield Funeral Home in Lineville. On-line condolences may be sent via benefieldfuneralhome.com. The funeral service may be viewed via Facebook Live at the Lineville Baptist Church Facebook page.

Benefield Funeral Home, Lineville.

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