Delphine Bensen was born June 8, 1924, in Venice, California to father Clyde Pierce Williams and mother Jeanne Frances Marguerite Perroset Williams. Her mother was from Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and moved to the United States at the age of six with her parents. They settled in California, where Delphine and her brother were born and raised.
During the Great Depression, Del’s family did not have enough money to send her to college, but she was able to become qualified through a commercial course in high school to land a job with Wells Fargo in Santa Monica. It was there that she met her future husband, a contractor who came into the bank and caught Del’s eye. They eventually married, and raised three children: Ray, Billie and Jeff.
They had a somewhat unique experience in Santa Cruz with their entire family living in a one-room cabin, as her husband’s job with Lockheed Martin had taken them there from where they were living in the San Fernando Valley. She said it was a strange way to live, but that she and her family were thrilled to have made so many friends in the area from Lockheed.
Del worked for awhile as a school bus driver, but decided she did not want to retire doing that, and sent herself to night school to learn typing on electric typewriters. This led to her receiving an office job with the Vandenberg Junior High School at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. In the year 2000, she moved to Davis to be closer to her family.
Del now has two grandchildren and four great grandchildren! She says, “In life it helps to be flexible, and sometimes you don’t know where you’re going to end up, but it’s that which makes for an adventure.” Del feels that, “At the Carlton, everyone is here to help one another, and offer guidance, suggestions, and experiences, and an ability to ‘compare problems and solutions’.” She’s very excited that our chef offered to make her delicious carrot cake recipe, which she’ll be sharing with her fellow residents!
Del enjoys doing activities outside like walking and gardening, and says that if she “has to be someplace, this is the place to be!”