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Rachael Mary Preston

Rachael Mary Preston, 75, of San Angelo, passed away Friday, October 24, 2008 at her residence.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at Johnson’s Funeral Home Chapel. Interment took place in Fairmount Cemetery.

Rachael Mary Geraldine (Theresa) Benchoff was born on December 29, 1932 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Edmund Frederick and Thelma Hanratty Benchoff. She would become the eldest of five children. As a youngster she lived in several different towns, as her parents moved often, following the oil business. They finally settled in Salem, Illinois in 1939.

She married J.R. Preston on January 27, 1955 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After living in Evansville, Indiana, they too followed the oil business, living in Midland, Texas; Traverse City, Michigan; Houston, Texas; and finally (semi) retiring in San Angelo. They raised three children. Over the years they owned various properties in beautiful settings such as Sanibel Island, Florida; Estes Park, Colorado; and their ranch in Fort McKavett, Texas. They never lacked for guests, welcoming friends and family warmly.

Rachael will be remembered for her creativity, vivacity, wit and humor, her generosity, her contagious laugh, her attention to detail, her curiosity and determination, her artistic talent, her unerring intuition about people, her ability to put anyone at ease, and her capacity for love. Rachael will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
Rachael was preceded in death by her parents, her husband J.R., and her sister Marilyn Gerst (Bob). She is survived by her children, Steve Preston (Laurel), Jon Preston (Diana), and Anne Cummins (Terry); also by her sisters M.A. Leede (Ed), Sharon Pine (Clyde), her brother Michael Benchoff, 7 grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

The family wishes to extend its heartfelt gratitude to Toni and Layne Smith, who cared for both J.R. and Rachael throughout their respective illnesses with dedication, expertise and affection. The family also wishes to thank Andy and Letha Gonzales. Their cheerfulness, warmth, and friendship have become a welcome addition to Rachael’s home.

Family and friends may sign an online memorial at and are encouraged to donate to their favorite charity in memory of Rachael. Rachael preferred to give to organizations whose good work benefitted children, education, and healthcare; such as Ambleside School, Bellevue Schools Foundation, HeartGift, and the James Phillips Williams Foundation.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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