Rhodes & Northern, Owners
 -Family Owned and Operated-




- WAKE -

Friday, December 1, 2017
5:00 - 8:00 P.M.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
11:00 A.M.
College Hill Church of God in Christ
6414 North 30th Street

Garden of Memories
4207 North Lake Avenue
Tampa, FL 33610

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11/29/2017 09:04 PM


Meritha Michelle Bennefield of Tampa passed away, Sunday, November 19, 2017.  Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, December 2 at 11:00 a.m. at College Hill Church of God in Christ, 6414 N. 30th Street, with Superintendent Charles Davis, Pastor, officiating.  Interment will follow in Garden of Memories Cemetery. 

Meritha Michelle Bennefield, “Rita” as she was affectionately known, was the second of three siblings, born September 26, 1965, in Tampa Florida, to the late Eddie C. Marshall and Shirley A. Grimsley.  She was a graduate of Tampa Bay Vocational Technical High School Class of 1983.  

Meritha worked for Hillsborough County School District beginning as a bus driver and within a 2-year period advanced to an Administrative Assistant at the Velasco Center, Rita worked until she was medically retired.  She enjoyed traveling, shopping, cooking, baking, entertaining, and spending time with her family.  

Rita met Gray “Buddy” Bennefield while in Junior High School and they quickly became sweethearts and their courtship led to marriage on July 2, 1988. Rita and Buddy were soulmates for over 40 years and Buddy was a very devoted husband who pledged his love to Rita in both sickness and in health, to their union of three children were born, Antonio, Antwuan, and Arielle. 

Meritha “Rita” Bennefield leaves to cherish her loving and fond memories:  A devoted husband of 29 years, Gray “Buddy” Bennefield; children, Antonio R. Bennefield, Antwuan D. Bennefield and Arielle L. Daniel (Rakeli); 9 grandchildren, Anthony Bennefield, Ja’ Shaun Bennefield, Jamarius Bennefield, Rakeli Daniel Jr, Anto’Nyshia Bennefield, Raki Daniel, Antonio Bennefield Jr., Ra’Kiya Daniel all of Tampa FL; and Devon Bennefield of Orange Park FL; Grandmother, Effie Grimsley, Montgomery AL; Sisters, Tracey Marshall, NE, MD and Nicole Hinnant, Hilton Head, SC; Brothers, Sam Grimsley, NE, MD, Otha Grimsley, Tampa FL, Andrew Grimsley, Atlanta GA and Michael Johnson, Miami FL; Sister-in-law, Richardean Watson (Dewey), Sabrina Bennefield and Cynthia Bennefield, Tampa FL; Brother-in-law, Leartis Bennefield, Tampa FL; nieces, Zenobia Lynch, Javita Woods, Sierra Wallace, Alysa Grimsley, Tampa FL; Kiara Stevenson (Aaron) Pensacola FL; Adrianna Grimsley, Colorado Springs, CO;  nephews, Joseph Woods Jr., Tampa FL, and Antonio Grimsley, Colorado Springs, CO; aunts, Leola Shellman, Essie Coleman, Catherine Soarrey and Jacquelyn Gilbert, all of Tampa, FL, Mable Grimsley, Beverly Hairston, AL, Margaret Kelly, Evelyn Daniel and Annie Walker, Tampa FL; uncles, Wilmon Walker (Lillie), Wallace Grimsley, Tampa FL., Gregory Grimsley (Francine), Pensacola FL, and Wallace Grimsley, Tampa FL; devoted family members, Calvin Coleman Jr, S. Maria Bell-Coleman, Michelle Coleman, Greg Soarrey Sr. (Sheila), Alicia Shellman, Arthur Shellman Jr., Thomas Walker (Vivian), John Ponder (Precious) Von Watson (Danielle), Darryl Jones (Maeordrie), Tampa FL, Johnny Gilbert (Beverly) Silver Springs, MD; very devoted friends, Annissia “Niecey” Gaines, Sylvia Wilson and Danette Mays-Moment;  and a host of grieving family and friends.   

The remains will repose after 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 1 at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue.  Arrangements entrusted to RAY WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME, Rhodes & Northern, Owners.

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301 N. Howard Avenue 
Tampa, FL 33606-1508
Phone:  813.253.3419 
  Fax:  813.251.4912
Email:  raywilliamsfh@verizon.net         
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