GILBERTSVILLE - Mildred Benjamin Stebbins, 92, passed peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at Chase Nursing Home in New Berlin.
She was born June 6, 1925, in Burlington, to Murry and Florence Benjamin. For the past 18 months she had resided at The Chase Nursing Home in New Berlin.
Mildred began her education in a one-room schoolhouse in Burlington and graduated as salutatorian of the Edmeston Central School Class of 1944. She went on to earn a secretarial certificate from Utica School of Commerce. Upon the completion of her certificate, Mildred returned to her high school Alma Mater, where she was hired as secretary to the principal, an accomplishment of which she was always extremely proud.
After her marriage to John T. Stebbins in 1947, Millie became a lifelong resident of Gilbertsville. Shortly after moving to Gilbertsville, she took a secretarial position at Scintilla in Sidney. With the birth of her first child in 1951, Millie became a "working mom." She balanced family and career until her retirement from Norwich Furniture in 1986, where she had worked as a bookkeeper for 18 years.
Millie was deeply devoted to her family. Even before her retirement, she cared for her aging parents and mother-in-law on her days off. Millie's grandchildren were the light of her life. She spent countless hours caring for them, reading stories, playing games and providing hot chocolate and cookies on cold winter days. As they got older, she listened to their troubles as only a Gram can do. Teaching them, by example, to be kind. Family gatherings were very important to Millie and birthday parties were a favorite family tradition. Millie's children and grandchildren were always treated to a "made from scratch" birthday cake in the flavor of their choosing. Even when the grandchildren were no longer children the birthday cakes kept coming! Millie's own 90th birthday party was an especially joyful family celebration.
Millie anxiously awaited the arrival of her great-grandchildren. As each baby arrived they were gifted with her hand knit sweaters and blankets, now dearly treasured. She delighted in watching her great-grandchildren play at her feet.
Millie was a member of Christ Church for more than 55 years. After her retirement, she became very active in the Episcopal Women's Group and served as its treasurer for many years. She especially enjoyed the fellowship of the group's meetings at Sew Nice, where she became the "presser extraordinaire." She enjoyed baking for church events. Her cookies and apple muffins were local favorites. Millie was also a supporter of the Major's Inn Foundation, volunteering her time and talents in various ways. She will be remembered by many as a faithful friend.
Millie is survived by her children, Liz Stebbins, Sallye and Christopher Sadlocha, B.Jay Stebbins and Doreen Struss, Sandra and Patrick Vaughn, Laurie and Jeff Pedersen and Marie Stebbins
She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Aaron VanDusen and Tami Barrows, Amanda and Jon Hirsch, Andrew VanDusen, Joseph and Diane Coradlo, Daniel Sadlocha, Benjamin Stebbins, Levi Stebbins, Jeremy Vaughn, Chelsea Vaughn, Justin and Gabrielle Pedersen, Jennifer Mitchell, Emma Stebbins and Kory Bennett; and her beloved great-grandchildren, Aaron, Madison and Cayden VanDusen, Sydney and Jacob Hirsch, Ruby Vaughn, Ari Pedersen and baby Pedersen due in March 2018.
Also surviving are her brother, Kenneth and Sharon Benjamin; her sister, Dorothy Bolton; and sisters-in-law, Martha Benjamin and Jeanette Benjamin; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by her special friends, CeCe Rowe and CiCi Mason, her church family at Christ Church, and her dedicated caregivers at Chase Nursing Home.
Mildred was predeceased by her parents and her siblings, Carrie Benjamin Bookhout, Venona Benjamin, Charles Benjamin, Sidney Benjamin, Orlo Benjamin, Murry Benjamin Jr., Donald Benjamin, Adrian Benjamin and Richard Benjamin
She was also predeceased by her husband of 24 years, John T. Stebbins; her daughter-in-law, Carla J. Stebbins; and her dear friend, Flora Taylor.
Funeral services will be held at Christ Church in Gilbertsville at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14.
At Millie's request, there will be no calling hours, but rather a "gathering" of family and friends, which will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the church parish hall on the same day. Please join us for one or both of our celebrations of Millie's life. Private committal services will be held at the Benjamin family plot in Burlington.
In lieu of flowers, Millie requested that donations be made to the Episcopal Church Women of Christ Church to further the work of the Christian youth education programs. Donations should be mailed to Christ Church ECW, P.O. Box 345, Gilbertsville, NY 13776.
Condolences may be shared online at www.landersfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.
Published on October 12, 2017