Cover photo for Sara J. Benson's Obituary
Sara J. Benson Profile Photo
1942 Sara 2021

Sara J. Benson

September 18, 1942 — November 23, 2021

Sara Jane Benson (née Birmingham) of Punta Gorda Florida, passed away peacefully with her loving husband Edward Benson holding her hand on November 23, 2021.  Sara and Ed were married for 30 years and they were the love of each other’s lives. 

Sara was born on September 18, 1942, in Chicago Illinois to the late John Birmingham and Josephine Mullin.  Sara grew up in a multigenerational home with her father, her brother John, Nana, Papa, and Aunt Jane.  Sara adored her family.  Sara attended private parochial Catholic schools and graduated from Marywood, an all-women’s Catholic High School.  Sara had a desire to move to California and pursue a career in fashion.  Sara moved into her mother and stepfather's home in Piedmont California and relished living with her younger siblings, Meribeth Farmer, Anthony Brookman, and Lindsay Christensen. She later moved to Berkeley California and met her future husband, Jim.  Soon after they welcomed their only child, Kimberley Limato. 

While Sara was raising Kim in Pleasanton California, she was a well-known woman in the banking industry and eventually an executive within the hospitality industry.  It was there that Sara met Ed Benson and fell in love.  Ed and Sara moved to Punta Gorda after Ed retired from General Motors.  Together, Sara and Ed opened two very successful businesses Gulf Island Sails and Punta Gorda Yacht Brokers. Sara embraced her new community. She was an active Board of Director and member of the Friends of the Punta Gorda Library, Celebrate Life Cancer Support Group, Relay for Life, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Sacred Heart Catholic church. She was also involved in many social clubs such as her “bookies” book club, movie group, and her beloved Mahjong group.

Sara was an 18-year lung and esophageal cancer survivor, a loving wife, devoted Catholic, proud mother and grandmother, and was well-loved and respected by all who knew her. She was witty, smart, generous, courageous, and full of love.  Sara was a tremendous reader, she loved to write letters, articles, and stories.  She had an enormous heart and welcomed many into her home and life.  Those who met and knew her have said that she was the kindest person, she was open-hearted and made them laugh and smile in their most difficult times. 

Sara is survived by her husband Ed Benson and daughter Kimberley Limato (son-in-law David and beloved grandson Joseph).  She is also survived by her sister Meribeth Farmer (nieces Megan and Jace Goddard, niece Allison Farmer, nephew Robert Farmer, and niece-in-law Courtney Farmer) along with sister Lindsay Christiansen.  Sister in law, Virginia Steller, and brother-in-law, Dr. Rodney Steller were also at bedside with Sara upon her passing and live nearby.  Sara was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Anthony Brookman and John Bermingham. Sara is also survived by her stepdaughters Leslie Swan (son in law Ray, grandchildren Ashley and Nicholas), and Patricia Benson (fiancée Ben). Sara has many other nieces and nephews she loved dearly throughout the US.

Flowers can be sent to Sacred Heart Church; however, in lieu of flowers, a donation via check can be sent to “The Friends of the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library” and mailed to 401 Shreve St., Punta Gorda, FL  33950. Donations can also be made to the American Cancer Society at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sara J. Benson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, January 13, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

A Celebration of Sara's life will follow immediately.

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