Obituary of Mary Lou Benedict
Mary Lou Benedict was surrounded by family when she went home to our Lord and Savior October 31, 2018, following a brief illness.
Born in Walton on December 11, 1934, Mary Lou was the only daughter of the late George W. and Barbara (Smith) Benedict. During her high school years, she played drums, was a standout goalie in field hockey and a catcher on the softball team. After graduation she played and coached in a traveling softball league and won many accolades.
Mary Lou attended SUNY New Paltz, where she studied art. Her talent is evidenced in several paintings that hang in her home. After school she began a 40 year career with Scintilla, now known as Amphenol, as a Systems Analyst. While there, she made many lasting friendships and leaves behind several very special friends.
One of Mary Lou’s passions was travel. She made many family trips to Florida to visit her father, enjoyed camping in the Adirondacks and Maine and stopped at many historical spots between destinations. There may have even been an occasional trip to Atlantic City or Las Vegas. Following her retirement, she visited places like Nova Scotia, Alaska, the Parade of Roses and many other places across the US. A popular winter haven was Florida, where she spent time with many friends and especially cherished her time with Carolyn and Russell Johnson.
An avid sports fan, she spent most of her time watching women’s basketball, softball, golf and cheering for the Yankees. One of her pastimes was venturing to spring training to see the new prospects for her favorite baseball team.
Mary Lou canoed both recreationally and competitively. She helped her team win several relay races in the General Clinton Canoe Regatta and had a 70 Miler under her belt. Her triathlon team Grunt, Groan and Glide enjoyed several first place finishes over many years.
Summers wouldn’t be complete without golf leagues and outings. She traveled to the Solheim Cup several years ago and followed the LPGA tour closely. She encouraged youngsters to take up golf, as well, and it made her happy to see their success and love for the sport.
Mary Lou loved to be outside, caring for her plants and yard and took pride in making her home inviting. She also had a special place in her heart for all animals, especially her many dogs, including Pepper, Poppy, Maggie and her most recent companion, Sandy. The list didn’t stop at domestic animals, but included feeding her Baltimore Orioles and hummingbirds. She also enjoyed the wildlife surrounding her home.
When the weather was less than desirable you could find Mary Lou putting together a puzzle. She also had a knack for helping others learn the game of poker or pitch. She was part of pitch leagues for many years and had a few championship plaques helping to decorate the walls. She would occasionally drive to Turning Stone Casino to spend time and have lunch with her lifelong friend Shirley Hodge. There is a good chance that she tried her hand at Blackjack while she was there.
Her appetite for cooking and trying new dishes was rivaled by no other. She had a vast collection of cookbooks with markings of “good”, “delicious” and “BAD” for the recipes she tried. Many of her best creations were recipes she had made changes to and dubbed “make ups”, thus never repeating the same deliciousness twice.
For more than 20 years she volunteered for Mended Hearts at Wilson Hospital, working the information desk, answering questions and allaying the fears of many awaiting surgery.
In addition to her parents, Mary Lou was predeceased by her brother, George R. Benedict and a very special friend, Carolyn Flathers. She leaves behind several cousins sprinkled across the country, as well as Carolyn’s daughters, whom she treated as her own; Susan (Gary) Darling of Bainbridge, NY and Stephanie (Duane) Canfield of Freeville, NY, and grandchildren, Samantha Buttice (Anthony Ferrante), Russell Darling (Miranda Ruff), Evan and Bradley Canfield. The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning great-grandson Parker Buttice and a second soon to be great-grandchild, due in December.
Calling hours will be held at the Courtney Funeral Home in Walton, NY on November 12 at 10:30 am, with a celebration of Mary Lou’s life to follow at noon. Pastor Eda Dorosky and Reverend Cheryl Hine will officiate. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Delaware Valley Humane Society, The American Heart Association or to the charity of your choice.