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  #1  
Unread November 27th, 2009, 01:45 AM
byrdhenriksen byrdhenriksen is offline
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Default Anna Benson's Obituary

Anna Lynn Benson died on November 23, 2009, in Boquete, Panama. Born in Columbia, South Carolina on December 19, 1949, Anna was a sixth generation Columbian and lived most of her life here. She attended Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and was graduated from Dreher High School in 1967. She continued her education at Stratford College in Danville, Virginia, and was graduated from the University of South Carolina, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English, a Master’s Degree in Library Science, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology. Anna was a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

Blessed with intelligence and creativity, Anna developed her interests in fitness and history into many prestigious, noteworthy accomplishments. Always an ardent exerciser, Anna taught swimming lessons as a teenager to many of Columbia’s children. In 1979, she founded the very successful and popular exercise studio, The Body Firm, in Charleston and Columbia. For more than 20 years, she created award-winning exercise techniques and trained numerous instructors in instructional performance. Beginning in 1986, Anna collaborated with her former husband, filmmaker Mark Henriksen, and her sister, Cynthia Benson, to create a best-selling library of exercise videos entitled The Firm. This ground-breaking series generated ongoing business with media giants such as Time- Life, BMG and Broadway Books; world-wide sales of The Firm have exceeded 100 million copies since the release of the first video. Anna also addressed specific needs of older exercisers with her later videos FitPrime and Fitness Favorites. Fitness favorites will continue to operate under the direction of her son Byrd Henriksen, Annette Bethel, and Ezequiel Diaz.

Based on her special interest in the history of the South, Anna also created, in collaboration with Mark Henriksen and Cynthia Benson, two internationally award-winning documentary films about the history and culture of the two Southern cities: The Key West Picture Show (1978) and Dear Charleston (1980) received multiple first-prize awards and five-star reviews from notable sources including the New York Times and the American Film Institute. Reflecting Anna’s insightful interviewing skills and vibrant, energetic perspective, these fresh and entertaining films remain in print today.

Anna is survived by her husband, Herbert Jabloner; her father, Herbert L. Benson, Jr., and his wife, Barbara Quick (Long) Benson; her mother, Anna Marian Stanley Tucker, and her husband, Hubert W. Tucker; her sons, William Byrd Stanley Henriksen and Mark Herbert Phillips Henriksen; and her sisters, Cynthia Benson Clarke of Columbia, South Carolina, Frieda Benson Grimball of Norfolk, Virginia, and Sara Elizabeth Benson of Chicago, Illinois. In addition to the generation of instructors who continue to build on her legacy of achievement in exercise science, Anna also leaves behind countless exercise enthusiasts who continue to use and enjoy her informative, entertaining works.

The family in Columbia wishes to thank Herbert Jabloner, Scott Williams and the doctors and nurses at Chiriqui Hospital in David, Panama, for their expert care and compassion. Memorials may be made to the Oliver Gospel Mission, PO Box 7791, Columbia, SC 29202, or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1715 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201, or to the Building Fund, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 1100 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Friends may call at the homes of her parents.

A memorial service for the family and friends celebrating her life will be held Tuesday, December 1, 4:00 PM at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Columbia, South Carolina, The Reverend Dr. Tony A. Metze, pastor, officiating. Interment will be scheduled for a later date. Shives Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Last edited by Ginger; November 27th, 2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Unread November 27th, 2009, 01:17 PM
magnolia magnolia is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Anna was certainly a great lady. I did not personally know her, but felt as though I did. I have been a "firm believer" since Volume One was released in 1986. I was impressed that whenever I had a question about one of the newer tapes, I could email her and she would answer personally.

I certainly feel as if I have lost a dear friend. She and her family will certainly be in my prayers during this difficult time. May God bless you all.

Teresa Bader
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  #3  
Unread November 27th, 2009, 03:26 PM
Pambie36 Pambie36 is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I was very saddened to learn of Anna's passing, having been a long-time fan since the 80's and the introduction of Volume 1. Where else could you find timeless, classic elegance in an exercise video - not to mention phenomenal RESULTS?! I don't think that there was one single workout that Anna produced that I did not love - even (if not especially) the "ballroom" aerobics. Sending condolences to family & friends.
Best,
Pam
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Unread November 27th, 2009, 03:26 PM
vciera vciera is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Thank you for posting this obituary Byrd. I had the joy and honor of meeting your mother once and am forever thankful for her in bringing health and fitness to my home by amazing videos.

I am so glad that you will carry on her tremendous work. My condolences and prayers to you and your family.

God bless,
Vennitta
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Unread November 28th, 2009, 09:16 AM
stacy4ft9 stacy4ft9 is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

Byrd,

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. She was an incredible woman and touched so many lives, including mine. I was fortunate have the chance to meet her in 2004 during the FitPrime infomercial, as one of the infomercial particpants. It was the FIRM workouts that changed my life 13 years ago and I really owe so much to her (and of course Cynthia and your father) for all that they did within the fitness industry.

And I am so incredibly appreciative that you will be carrying on with her project. I haven't yet been able to purchase the newly converted DVDs but will make a point to do so and am thrilled to know that you'll be working on this.
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Unread November 28th, 2009, 09:21 AM
stacy4ft9 stacy4ft9 is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I also just wanted to say, Byrd, that this forum hasn't been super active, as you might be able to tell. However, the forum at Video Fitness and Firm Ya Ya's is a flurry of activity with the news of her death. Your message on the home page has already been noted in the two forums that I mentioned so the word is out that you are carrying on with her project.
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Unread November 28th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Vanessa Vanessa is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Even though I didn't personally know Anna, I feel as though I did. She was so passionate about her work. She made a huge difference in my life and my health. I will pray for you and your family.
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Unread November 28th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Vanessa Vanessa is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I am so saddened and my prayers will be with Anna's family. She made a difference in so many people's lives, my included! I feel such a loss.
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  #9  
Unread November 29th, 2009, 01:51 AM
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TapiocaPudding TapiocaPudding is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I am so sorry to hear that Anna Benson is no longer with us. Her & her exercise videos were an inspiration to many. In the early 1990s, her videos changed my attitude towards exercise for the better & introduced me to weights as part of a fitness routine. She produced among the best video workouts ever & her presence in the fitness industry will be missed greatly. I did not know her personally, but in my opinion it was clear she cared greatly about communicating the importance of total health. From posting tidbits about nutrition to bolding creating a workout that addressed prevention of female incontinence, she gave us the tools to achieve greater health. She will be dearly missed.
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  #10  
Unread November 29th, 2009, 06:08 AM
anetta anetta is offline
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Default Re: Anna Benson's Obituary

I, like many others started with the Firm Volume 1 and continued to purchase everthing Anna produced. Her workouts are like no others, I wish I could have met her someday to let her know how much I appreciated her workouts.

I'm am glad to hear that you will carry on her work.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.

Anita
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