Shirley M. VanBenschoten

                    November 21, 1931  -  February 8, 2011

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Life Legacy

Shirley M. VanBenschoten, 79, Henderson, passed away Tuesday afternoon at her home under the care of her family and Hospice of Jefferson County.

Shirley was born in Pulaski, November 21, 1931, a daughter to Harold and Theresa Williams Palmer. She graduated from Mannsville Manor High School in 1949. Shirley married Robert C. VanBenschoten October 23, 1954 at the Mannsville United Methodist Church. Shirley was a bookkeeper for Best Distributing and Northrop Motors both of Watertown for several years. She went to work for the Henderson Central School District as a secretary in 1977 and retired from the school in 1991.

Besides her husband Robert, she is survived by 3 sons and a daughter-in-law, David and Sue, Henderson; Jim, Seattle, WA; Rick and his fiance Sandy Cesario, Henderson. Her daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Barry West, Henderson. Four grandchildren, Ryan and his wife Leann West, Jamie West, Andrea VanBenschoten and Shaie Elmer. Two sisters Caroline Camidge, Black River and Betty Welsh Marcellus. A brother Ken Palmer, 1000 Palms, CA. Many nieces, nephews and cousins. Two brothers, William and Melvin predeceased her.

Mrs. VanBenschoten was a planner, an organizer and a maker of lists. She was in her glory when she was planning something. It could be a community fundraiser, a party, a family dinner or the next vacation. There are few thing she enjoyed more than cooking and she spent hours scouring magazines for new recipes. She could stretch a dollar farther than anyone, find a way to make leftovers taste good, get every mile out of the family car and make a vacuum cleaner last 50 years. She was a lover of many things, including a good meal in a great restaurant, the dock at Whites Bay, a good tan, a boat ride, a glass of Riesling, jellybeans, crossword puzzles, cookbooks and family, most of all family. She taught us to share, support each other, fight fair and forgive. Each of us felt special and all of us felt loved. Her last gift to us was to teach us to say out loud what all of us knew..I love you.

In her honor we invite all our friends and family to attend a celebration of her life on Sunday, February 13th, at the Manor House in Pierrepont Manor from 1 pm 4 pm where we hope to share laughter, tears, and stories of Shirley. Please join us.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 357, Watertown, NY 13601 and to Hospice of Jefferson County, 425 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601.

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Born: November 21, 1931

Death: February 8, 2011

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