Janice Hamley Benzenhoefer

April 16, 2023

CHARLOTTE – Janice Hamley Benzenhoefer passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, April 16, 2023.  She was born in Pittsburgh, PA on May 21, 1943 to Pearl M. Hamley and Arthur Shaw Hamley. 

Janice graduated from Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA with a Bachelors Degree, and the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA with her Masters Degree.  She married Albert C. Benzenhoefer, a native of Sewickley, PA on December 27, 1966.  Shortly after her marriage to Albert, a Navy Lieutenant JG, they moved to Key West, FL, where Albert was stationed.  Subsequently she and Albert moved to Jacksonville, FL.  They moved to Charlotte, NC on June 28, 1974 (Amy’s fourth birthday) and she had lived there ever since.

Janice began her fifty-seven-year teaching career in Florida and continued to teach for over forty years in the CMS System.  She ended her CMS career at Myers Park High School as a Spanish teacher.   Until early April, she was an upper school Spanish teacher at Charlotte Country Day School.

Janice could never go anywhere without a current or past student running up to her and exclaiming “Hola, Senora Benzenhoefer!!!”  Many times, these students were from years ago so they would have to remind her of who they were.  Once they did, she always, always, remembered their Spanish name from when she taught them. Her work family at CCDS as well as her adoring students have been a huge part of her life, and she was eternally grateful to have forged so many amazing relationships.

Janice loved to travel and has been all over the world.  She and Albert continued to find adventure until his diagnosis of Parkinson’s with Lewy Body Dementia.  Albert passed away on February 19, 2022. 

Janice is survived by her daughter, Amy Spears and her husband, Allen Heape; her two grandchildren, Jackson Shaw Spears and Brighton Kelley Spears; sister, Diane M. Hamley; brother, David K. Hamley and his wife, Kathi Vanyo and her dear aunt, Grace D. Schad.  She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Albert and her parents, Pearl and Arthur Hamley.

Services will be private.

Memorials may be offered in memory of Janice to ALS Association National Office, 1300 Wilson Blvd., Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22209 or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, New York, NY  10163.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Linda Hosack Ingher

    Janice and I went from first grade to twelfth and since our names began with H we were seated beside each other. We shared Spanish class for two years under Mr Cicero. We went to art classes at the Carnegie Museum and explored the basement and other places in museum while waiting for parents to pick us up. Funny we ended up living in the Charlotte area. She will be missed.

  • Bill Anderson

    Janice was by far one the best teachers I have ever known. She truly loved her students and was so passionate about teaching Spanish. I was always in awe and inspired after observing her classroom. Her energy and high expectations of herself and her students was stellar. I will miss Senora Benzenhoefer as a friend and colleague, may she rest in peace.

  • Adrian Lunsford

    Janice couldn't enter any place without the room sparkling because of her personality. I had the pleasure of knowing her at Dilworth Elementary.
    Children adored her as well as our staff. She and Al were wonderful together, school functions or not. They adored their Amy! I just know Janice is helping as many children as she can in heaven.

  • Willa Hackney

    Janice was simply amazing! I knew her from back in the day at Dilworth Elementary. I would run into her here and there throughout the years since. She and Al showed what devotion means. A most beautiful couple!! Her career teaching - well that by itself says so much about what a wonderful teacher and mentor she was to so many. And not just to the students - to the people who worked with her also. I think about her wearing her jewelry and how it glistened along with her personality. Heaven just gained a sparking jewel. May she and your Dad be reunited forever. Take care and treasure each special memory.

  • Kenny Smith

    Senora Benzenhoefer was the best. I vividly remember sitting in her class at AG Jr High in the late 80's learning La Bamba. She had such a unique way to make foreign language class fun. Sometimes our excessive exuberance led to spending our lunch in her classroom (well deserved) and despite her best efforts to punish us, she made that fun too.

    I would see her throughout the years, and she always had a big smile and warm greeting. She touched the lives of thousands of young people in Charlotte. My prayers are with Amy and the family. She will be missed by a generation of students.

    Kenny Smith

  • Jennifer& Gary Moore

    Janice was such an integral part of the Myers Park community and loved by students, parents and teachers. Gary and I had the pleasure of teaching with her and getting to know her. Her way with students was amazing and everyone who came in contact with her could feel her bubbly personality and her true concern for others. She will be greatly missed. She definitely lived her life to the fullest and made a great impact on the world! God bless all the family. She is a jewel that the world will never forget.