Obituary of Doris M. Benton
Doris Mae (Vander Wende) Benton, a longtime resident of Woodstock Valley, CT, passed away on September 28, 2022. She was 90 years old.
She was born on March 28, 1932, in Passaic, NJ, to Abram and Marie Vander Wende. She grew up in Clifton, New Jersey, and graduated from Clifton High School, class of 1949. She married Norman Benton on June 10, 1951. They lived a brief time in Clifton, after which they built a home in the Newfoundland section of West Milford Township, NJ, where they raised their five children.
Doris worked for New York Bell Telephone in New York City and later as a bank teller for Lakeland State Bank in New Jersey. She then became an assistant vice president at Alexander Hamilton Savings and Loan, managing one of their branches. She was also active in the Ladies Auxiliary of Community Fire Company No. 1, serving the residents of Newfoundland and Oak Ridge, New Jersey.
Along with Norman, Doris enjoyed the lakefront home they bought and renovated in 1985 on Bungee Lake in Woodstock Valley, CT. After selling their primary residence in New Jersey in 1990, they became full-time Connecticut residents.
Doris and Norman never lost touch with their New Jersey friends. Additionally, they enjoyed gatherings with their many friends in Connecticut, including weekly breakfasts at a local restaurant, living room gatherings rooting for the UConn women's basketball team, and many evening pontoon boat rides.
Doris delighted in living on the lake, observing the ever-changing sights and experiences of the four seasons. Doris also loved the ocean and the salt air, especially "down the shore" in New Jersey.
Doris was a member of the East Woodstock Congregational Church, where she adored her pastor, Reverend Susan Foster, and many dear friends. She was a voracious reader and loved learning about the world. Doris excelled at several crafts, including quilting, cross stitching, embroidery, basket making, chair caning, and creating beautifully stitched needlepoint greeting cards. She made many things for her family, friends, and charitable causes. Her other interests included Dutch and German genealogy, tai chi, and swimming. Most of all, Doris enjoyed her time with her "grands" (grandchildren) and the many adventures they shared.
Doris is survived by her five children: Gary Benton and daughter-in-law Eileen; David Benton and Pat McDonnell; Thomas Benton and daughter-in-law Laurie; Nancy Bauer and son-in-law James; Sandra DeGennaro and son-in-law Paul; as well as her grandchildren Shea Benton-Reger and spouse Alex; Jenna Benton; Denise Benton and Shawn Aubin; Kimberly Benton; Melissa Hadley and spouse Matthew; Katherine Benton; Andrew Bauer; Justin Bauer; Robert Bauer; Stephen DeGennaro and spouse Katie; Lauren DeGennaro; and Peter DeGennaro.
She leaves behind her great-grandsons Chase Reger, Caiden Reger, and Beau Aubin. She is also survived by her two sisters-in-law: Alma Everett and Daphne Benton; her nieces, Susan Gerardo (Paul); Judith Wilson (Robert); Cheryl Cannici (Raymond); and her nephew, Kenneth Jacobs.
Doris is predeceased by her husband of 71 years, Norman Benton; her sister Carol Krawiec; her parents, Abram and Marie Vander Wende; and her nephew, Glenn Benton.
While Doris regularly kept in touch with old friends and relatives, she quickly made new friends, including those she treasured as a recent Country Living at West View Commons resident in Dayville, CT.
Doris was an adept and caring conversationalist, always inquiring about everyone's health and happiness while weaving together personal anecdotes with reflections on her life. Doris's engaging personality, loving heart, and bright smile will always be remembered, and she will be dearly missed by those whose lives she touched.
Please send any memorial donations to East Woodstock Church, P.O. Box 156, East Woodstock, CT 06244.
The family plans a private graveside ceremony.