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Mary Anne Bensen

March 6, 1937 ~ April 22, 2019 (age 82)


    Aunt Mary Anne has left us, the world is not quite so sunny today.

Mary Anne Bensen (with an e), a lifelong resident of 12 Benedict Street, Middletown, NY died peacefully on April 22. Her wish to simply fall asleep and not wake was granted; a deserving gift for a life so very well lived.

There to greet and welcome her home are her parents, Frederick Henry Bensen III and Helen Dwyer Bensen, her brother in law Charles R. Woodruff and her life-long companion and best friend Thomas Stenson who undoubtedly will give her a hug with a “hi Mare, it’s great to see you again.” Charles and Virginia Wagner, and John and Katherine Seitz, her aunts and uncles will be waiting at the table. Once again the roast beef on Sunday mornings will smell and taste amazing.

    Mary Anne is survived by her beloved big sister, Catherine Jean Bensen Woodruff of Wolf Lake. Mary Anne recently said of Jean “when we were young I looked up to Jean, she always had the answers and she was always right.” They had a bond that was unbreakable, through every circumstance.

Her nephews Paul Bensen Woodruff (Ellen) of Slate Hill, Christopher Woodruff (Joann) of Newburgh, Mark Woodruff (Joyce) of Wurtsboro and Charles Woodruff (Arlene) of Clifton Park, NY adored her. All grew up with her wit, energy, sense of humor and love. Our lives were so enriched. We are very fortunate and so grateful for the time we spent, the laughter and the fun we had together.

Mary Anne is survived also by her cousins Jane Wagner of Lexington, Ky. and Michael Wagner who lives in Florida.

She is also survived by so many caring grand-nieces and grand-nephews, all who have been a source of great comfort and joy.


In addition to her family, Mary Anne has more friends than you can imagine.     She was a unique person with the ability to attract people, enjoy and share their company, many for a lifetime. Her room at the hospital, and her phone were always in motion with so many wanting to know how she was feeling.

Born on March 6, 1937 Mary Anne was educated at the Academy Avenue School, Middletown High School, Orange County Community College and was a 1959 graduate of Keuka College.

In 1960 Mary Anne began a forty-three year career with the Orange County Department of Social Services, and ultimately the Child Welfare Division. She began as a case worker, then to supervisor of the department. She was instrumental in the development of good caseworkers and was a mentor to all. Many of her co-workers spoke of the guidance and mentoring they received. While MAB never had children of her own, she really had hundreds as she worked to improve the lives of foster children around the county. To her last day she could tell you every detail of every child the department was able to assist. She had a remarkable, meaningful career.

The Bensen and Woodruff families would like to thank Dr. Alexander Fruchter II for his support, his candor and his wisdom; the third floor South team at Orange Regional Medical for amazing care and the staff at Glen Arden in Goshen, for making Mary Anne’s last days such a human, loving experience.

Whether you are reading this as a family member, a close friend or a casual observer know how special this grand lady was. It is our sincere hope that each of you is fortunate enough to have an Aunt Mary Anne, your life will be richer for it.

   Visiting hours for Mary Anne and Thomas Stenson will be held at the Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, 26 Grove Street, Middletown, NY from 2-4 PM, then 7-9 PM on Friday, April 26.

   A Mass of Christian burial for Mary Anne and Thomas will be offered at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 90 Euclid Ave, Middletown, NY at 9:30 AM on Saturday, April 27.

   In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome at Ronald McDonald House of choice, Albany house address is 139 S. Lake Ave, Albany, NY, 12208 and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Thank you in advance for your generosity to aid children and families in distress.

   Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, Middletown, NY. 

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