Benton, Barbara 2010
Barbara Sue Benton has presented the Lord’s Prayer in Native American sign language in every state and 11 foreign countries. She is a 1951 graduate of the Oklahoma College for Women. Barbara graduated from Pauls Valley High School and was a member of the faculty at Southwest Business College in Roswell, New Mexico. After returning from Roswell, she opened a dance studio in Norman where she taught children’s tap and ballet for more than 27 years.
Barbara was initiated in the Norman Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star in May 1955. She served in several appointed stations before going into the elected line. She became Worthy Matron in 1964. She served as Worthy Grand Matron for the state of Oklahoma from 1983-85. Barbara was installed as Most Worthy Grand Matron of the General Grand Chapter in 2006 in Minneapolis.
As the Most Worthy Grand Matron, she made official visits to Eastern Star chapters in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Guam, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Alaska, Germany, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Romania, Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Aruba.
Her Choctaw Indian background has inspired the theme of her favorite pastime of collecting American Indian artifacts, pottery, jewelry and folk art. Along with her work in the Eastern Star, Benton has presented the Lord’s Prayer in Native American sign language in every state and 11 foreign countries. Benton’s audiences have ranged from as few as 25 to more than 5,000. She wears traditional Native American beadwork on buckskin.
Barbara often serves as a volunteer for her neighborhood to collect donations for heart and cancer organizations. She is an active member of St. Stephens United Methodist Church in Norman.