ONEONTA – Mary Ann (Georgeson) Benjamin’s life ended peacefully, surrounded by family at her residence on June 23, 2019.
Mary was born to Nicholas and Christina Georgeson on July 21, 1928, in Oneonta, and spent the first years of her life in Oneonta.
At age 5, while her father remained in America, Mary moved with her mother to her parents’ homeland of Zoupana, Greece, for a year. Believing a better life awaited his family in America, her father brought Mary and her mother back from Greece and the family moved to Norwich for a few years before settling back in Oneonta, where she spent the remainder of her life.
Mary graduated from Oneonta High School in 1946 and Hartwick College in 1957. She married Jack Benjamin on June 15, 1952. Jack passed away on Jan. 9, 1980. In addition to raising five children, Mary was a devoted teacher. She taught at Center Street School for 22 years.
Mary was an avid bowler. She served as secretary for the Top Hatter’s Bowling League at Lamonica’s Bowling Lanes for 12 years and was the past president of the Oneonta Bowling Association. She continued to bowl in leagues into her seventies. She coached the boys and girls Oneonta High School bowling teams for 22 years.
Mary loved to watch her children and grandchildren play baseball and continued to do so until last summer. She was never afraid to analyze and critique every game she watched. Her family will truly miss those after-game conversations. She was a huge St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan and rarely missed a televised game. Mary also loved to support her grandchildren by attending sporting events, school concerts, plays, dance recitals, and graduations.
In her later years, Mary loved to travel and visit friends in Florida. She also traveled to many places over the years with her daughter and caretaker, Karen.
Mary was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Oneonta.
One of Mary’s greatest pleasures was cooking the family’s favorite Greek dishes on holidays and other family gatherings. Her family will always cherish the great meals and family love that was shared by her not only at those gatherings but each and every day, in any way she could, be it big or small. Mary loved her entire family unconditionally and her greatest joy was to help them be happy and successful.
Mary wanted the world to be a better place for future generations. She hoped to be a part of any medical advancement that might allow that to occur. Therefore, as per her request she has donated her body to the Anatomical Gift Program in Albany.
Her former husband, Jack Benjamin; her parents Nicholas and Christina Georgeson; and her brother and sister in-law, former mayor James and Charlotte Georgeson predecease Mary.
Mary is survived by her five children, her son Steven; her daughter, Karen; her son and daughter in-law James and Susan; and her sons Mark and Michael Benjamin. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Jack Arthur, Nicholas, Megan, Andrew, Zach, Ryan, Jake, Steven, and Elaina Benjamin, and Mark Joseph Giallanzo; as well as nieces and nephews Christine (Larry) Takores and David, Diane, Gail, and Rick (Anne) Georgeson and all their families: her many great-nieces and great- nephews.
She is also survived by her dear friend of 78 years, Agatha (Ranieri) Ludlam of Bradenton, Florida.
As per Mary’s request there will be no funeral services. A celebration of her life is planned for a future date to be announced. In remembrance of Mary, donations in her name may be made to Catskill Area Hospice.297 River Service Road Oneonta,NY 13820.
The family of Mary Ann Benjamin gratefully acknowledges the care and support of the Catskill Area Hospice staff and volunteers.