Rita Kane Benza, 103, was greeted by her husband Augustine, at the Gates of Heaven on March 26, 2018 who escorted her to meet her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Rita was born to the late John T. and Margaret (Downs) Kane in Binghamton, NY on January 10, 1915. She was immersed in the Catholic community that would be her lifelong support from an early age. She graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1932 and graduated from the Albany Teachers College in 1936 with a degree in History. She also received a degree in Special Education from Marywood College in Scranton, PA. She taught at Millbrook High School, St. John the Evangelist and later special education at East Junior and Binghamton North until her retirement to Naples in 1978. In her retirement, she enjoyed being a Eucharistic Minister at St. Ann Catholic Church and at Naples Community Hospital.
Rita was blessed with a large loving family. She married, Augie, her soulmate and love of her life on December 1, 1942 in Millbrook, NY. They were married for 63 wonderful years. She raised four boys with patience, discipline, and love. She loved to take family summer vacations to Cape May and Lake George. She was a great baker and would always be up for a good card game. But most of all she loved spending time with family, especially Sunday dinners.
Rita was an educator at heart. She was kind and soft spoken, and always had time for anyone. She enjoyed telling her grandchildren stories especially about her summer trip in 1940 when she drove her car cross country from Binghamton to California, and how she was Campus Queen in 1933. She is dearly missed by her loved ones, who celebrate the fact that she is now at peace with her creator.
Rita is survived by four sons, AJ (Maureen), Michael of Binghamton NY , Dr.Gery (Sandy) and Stephen (Carla) Benza., her grandchildren, Kristen, Dr.Anthony (Dr.Chelsea), Griffin, Sarah, Nicholas(Avery), Anna and Michael Patrick; Brother-in-Law, Robert Cross and sister-in-law, Mildred Benza; Godsons, Richard Froiseth, and Robert McMahon. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. She was proceeded in death by her husband Augustine, her sister Lucille(Richard) Froiseth, her brother James(Mary)T.Kane and her sister Eileen; her cousins: Helen(Dr. Robert)Clark, Doris(Robert)McMahon and Frank(Ruth)Downs and her in laws: Raymond(Eleanor) Benza, Andrew Benza, Anna(Fidele)Fiore, Mary(Louis)Sepe, Rose(Augustine)Rotunno, Phyllis Cross, Nicholas Benza, Joseph(Delores) Benza, , and many cousins and of special note Dr. Frank(Mary)Benza.
A special note of appreciation to Ruth Ann Couture for all her care given to Rita, Arlene Kerwin for bringing Rita Holy Communion, and to Father Tom Gillespie and Father Robert Tabbert for their many visits.
Visiting hours are on April 13, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Fuller Funeral Home, Pine Ridge Road Naples. Funeral Mass will be offered on April 14, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Ann Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Palm Royale Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Rita’s name to St. Ann Catholic School Education Fund for those needing tuition assistance.