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April 26, 1940 ~ January 20, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Virginia Ann Benninger Dean passed on to her heavenly mansion, as the good Lord was finally able to complete it for her- she’d been “ready” for many years, the Lord just had more work to do there than she expected.
Born to Ruth Udelhofen and Kenneth Benninger, who both predecease her. Her sisters Anna Marie
Banks, Bonnie Lou Benninger, brother Kenneth Carl Benninger are also there to meet her along with the
love of her life, Gilmore Douglas Dean who passed in March 2021. Alongside her husband, she has an
amazing group of people welcoming her home- her son Harold L. Benjamin Jr, grandsons Matthew
Davenport, Joshua Benjamin, granddaughter Ariel Marie Myers as well as aunts, uncles, cousins,
brothers-in-laws and many, many friends.
She is survived by her brother, James A. (Sue) Benninger. Children Rebekah E. (Jamie) Davenport,
Deborah A. (Doug) Myers, 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren. Sisters-in-laws Diane Logan,
Darlene (Steve) Brennan, Dolores Laraway, Marilyn Dean and Ruth Dean. She also leaves many cousins,
nieces, nephews and life-long friends.
Her life was not always easy, yet she was a survivor before the word was a thing. She gave so very much
of herself in her life’s work- from an early age, she worked in health care, providing care to many within
different facilities throughout Tompkins County. Her last, and longest, was with Classen’s Home Health
care- it took 3-4 tries before she fully retired @ age 72. She was a blessing to so many clients and she
never wanted anyone to be alone as they passed.
Her proudest “work” were her children and grandchildren. She loved with her entire being, prayed for
us all throughout her life. Her “never grow up” spirit and sense of humor was ever present. She loved
Christmas/Birthdays/holidays as much or more than the littlest ones among us. She made a killer box of
mac-n-cheese (just ask the grands).
She loved to sing and was very active in choirs at each church she ever attended, singing to us right
through this last Christmas. Such a beautiful voice just joined heaven’s choir today. She also served as a
Sunday school teacher throughout her life as well as directing choir at South Hill Church of the Nazarene
for a time.
The last couple of years she shared with those at Groton Community Health Care. She challenged the
nurses and nursing assistants there as she wanted to “help take care” of other residents as she had done
for so many years. We want to thank all the staff there- nurses, nursing assistants, dietary,
environmental services- all were so caring and pleasant throughout her entire stay.
There will be a Celebration of Life and burial in the spring, which will be shared at a later date.