Ginger Ruth Gilyard Benjamin was born on November 15, 1942, in Orangeburg, South Carolina. On Saturday, May 2, 2020, she departed her earthly journey. She entered the presence of God and joined an innumerable host of beloved family members.
Ginger’s family relocated to Columbia, South Carolina in 1954, from Orangeburg, South Carolina to the State Park Community. She attended the public schools of Richland County School District Two, completing her education at Bethel-Hanbury High School. She also attended Midlands Technical College and Denmark Technical College.
At an early age, Ginger attended Zion Canaan Baptist, Inc. In later years, she joined her husband at Zion Pilgrim Baptist Church, where she enjoyed singing in the Jubilee Choir.
Ginger worked for the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs at Midlands Center, Farrow Road, for twenty-five years of faithful service. She retired from Midlands Center April 2009. She also worked at the Woods Wonderland Child Care Center for five years. The children endearingly called her “Miss Ginny”.
Ginger loved to travel and was nicknamed the “Cruise Queen”, a title earned after traveled on forty-four cruises prior to a decline in health.
Ginger was preceded in death by her parents, the late Alonzo Sr. and Lillie Mae Brown Gilyard; brothers, Alonzo Gilyard Jr., Johnny Gilyard; sisters, Wanda G. Brown and Willie Mae G. Hammond. She has joined the Eternal Family Chain; and will be truly missed by her earthly family and friends.
Ginger is survived by her loving husband of thirty-six years, Ronald Benjamin; two devoted daughters, Yvonne Gilyard (Eugene Jacobs) and Brenda Brady (Ramsey Free); three sons, Kevin A. “Tony” (Julie) Gilyard, Tracy B. Gilyard (Tiffany Adams) and devoted son, Anthony Benjamin (Chiquita Thomas); eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; three brothers, Larry Gilyard, Roosevelt Gilyard and Ricky (Mary) Gilyard; one sister, Gloria Gilyard; brother-in-law, Alfred Hammond; sisters-in-law, Pat Gilyard, Joan (Donald) Wright and Debra Benjamin, all of Columbia, SC; an uncle, Raymond Gilyard, Brooklyn, NY; aunt, Loretta Garvin, Branchville, SC; aunts-in-law: Arletha and Erma Gilyard, both of Brooklyn, NY, and Angie Gilyard, Charleston, SC; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
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