Dorothy Benson. (File/Joe Earle)

Fulton County has announced a Jan. 28 to honor late senior advocate Dorothy Benson, the namesake of a Sandy Springs senior center.

Benson, who died in November 2018 at the age of 97, according to an online obituary, helped create Fulton County’s senior centers, including the one that bears Benson’ name, the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Mulitpurpose Complex at 6500 Vernon Woods Drive. The Fulton County event will be held there from 4-7 p.m.

The event is essentially the public memorial service to honor Benson, whose death had not been announced other than the obituary, for “her community activism, senior advocation and for the valuable insight
she brought to Fulton County,” an announcement said. The reception will include refreshments, musical entertainment and tributes from family and friends, according to the announcement.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul remembered Benson as “a stalwart in Sandy Springs and an indomitable force for senior citizens in Sandy Springs and Fulton County.”

“Still very active well into her 90s, she proudly beat me in [bocce] ball when we dedicated the new court at the eponymous Benson Center a couple of years ago,” Paul said in a written statement. “She will be missed, but her legacy lives on in the community’s aptly named senior center.”

Benson had provided the county decades of service, having participated in the Fulton County Council on Aging, North Fulton County Council on Aging, the Grady Hospital Senior Advisory Board and the Atlanta Regional Commission Medicare Fraud Squad. She was still an active advocate in her 90s.

In 2016, the Georgia Senate named Benson a “Distinguished Older Georgian,” saying she is “omnipresent, advocating for seniors at the Capitol or at municipality, county, or regional commission meetings.”

Dorothy Benson, center, dances at a 2012 event celebrating the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex’s 13th anniversary. (File)

She was also a life member of the United States Pony Clubs, Inc., and taught horseback riding to children for more than 50 years, serving as an officer, board member and technical advisor for the Atlanta Pony Club, and as an equestrian event judge at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, according to the county.

The announcement asks attendees to the Jan. 28 event to wear equestrian or western-themed clothing “to honor her devotion to the equine.”

This article has been updated to add comment from Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul.