The First Lady of Connecticut High School Basketball, Sheila Anne (Butler) Beneski, 76, of West Suffield, beloved wife of Frank Beneski, passed away peacefully on January 17, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. Born on November 30, 1943, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Margaret (Fleming) Butler.
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Sheila earned her degree from BayPath College and was employed by Dr. William Coen, MD, as a medical secretary, before starting her family and took her permanent role as Mother, Wife and Homemaker which she thoroughly enjoyed and took seriously. She was a former President of the Ladies Guild of St. Bernard’s and an avid member of the St. Bernard’s Prayer Group. She was an avid vegetable gardener in the summer and was the ultimate hostess for every family gathering and holiday celebration. She also served as not only the secretary of the Suffield Athletic Hall of Fame, but more importantly, she was instrumental in the founding and development of this important part of Suffield’s identity.
She is survived by her beloved husband Frank Beneski of 55 years; a son Timothy Beneski and his wife Cara of West Suffield, four beloved grandchildren Chancey, Jake, Seamus, Eamon; a brother Daniel Butler and his wife Maureen; sisters-in-law Bernice Drumheller, Jane Holcomb, and brother-in-law Ted Beneski and his wife Laurie; and her special nieces and caregivers Rebecca Jarvis and Beth Mulhern. She was predeceased by a son, Peter Beneski.
Sheila will be remembered by many for her great passion for high school basketball. She and Frank have been avid fans for over forty years and routinely attended 125 Varsity games (and an equal number of JV and Freshman games) each season for at least twenty-five years. They have received numerous awards and a great deal of recognition for their fandom and philanthropy. The 2020 Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball Tournaments will be dedicated to them.
Throughout their years as fans, Sheila became a known (and much anticipated) spectator at basketball games across the state. She was a friend and supporter of countless players, coaches, referees, administrators, and writers, not to mention a host of other fans. She often joked about what someone might write about her in an obituary while quietly amassing a legion of friends from a community which embraced her wholeheartedly. Her basketball family brought her many long and wonderful friendships for which her family is most grateful.
The Funeral Services will be on Friday, January 24 at 9:00AM from The Heritage Funeral Home with a Mass of Christian burial at 10:00AM at Sacred Heart Church, Suffield. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Suffield. Friends may call at The Heritage Funeral Home 1240 Mountain Road, West Suffield on Thursday, January 23, from 2-4; and 5-7PM.
Online condolences please visit: www.SuffieldFuneralHome.com