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Obituary - Bernice Ford Benson

Bernice Ford Benson

Date of Passing: November 21st, 2020

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In lieu of remembrance services, please consider a contribution to the Donald G. and Bernice F. Benson Scholarship at Utica College, or the Earle Ford Brothertown Scholarship.

Bernice Ford Benson of New Hartford, passed away at the St. Luke's Home on November 21, 2020. She was 91 years old. Bernice was born in Waterville, at the family farm on January 19, 1929. She attended Waterville Central School, graduating in 1946.

On October 20, 1951, she married Donald G. Benson. She attended Utica College receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 1972. Bernice began working at General Electric in Utica in 1968 in the payroll department and over her career became an Engineering Support Analyst. Her work in that role earned her special recognition with Aerospace Electronics' Outstanding Achievement Award for her contribution to the publication of the Engineering Managers Guidebook. She retired from her long career at General Electric in 1993.

Bernice was a beloved member of, and was actively involved in the community of New Hartford. She was a member of the ZONTA Club of Utica, as well as a member of the Alumni Association at Utica College. In 2010, the Utica College Alumni Council awarded her the Pioneer Legacy Award for her selfless volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership. In addition, she was presented the Outstanding Alumna Award in 2016 for her demonstrated loyalty to Utica College and the Alumni Association.

Bernice was a lover of animals. She also enjoyed many hobbies throughout her life such as watercolor painting and sewing. Over the years, Bernice created numerous paintings and quilts for local art shows, or as donations to charitable organizations.

She was predeceased by her parents, Raymond Ford in 1977 and Marie Burkert Ford in 1997; her husband, Donald in 2007; and her brother, Earle Ford in 2011. She leaves behind her beloved companion, Homer (Bud) Secor of New Hartford; her sister-in-law, Linda Ford of Waterville; and nieces and nephews, Michael Ford of Waterville, Jeff Williams of Waterville, Mark Williams of California, Amanda Odom of Florida, Robin Murphy of Syracuse and Kelly Sullivan of Utica; along with many extended family members.

Bernice's wish was to donate her body to scientific research. There will be no calling hours or funeral services. In lieu of remembrance services, please consider a contribution to the Donald G. and Bernice F. Benson Scholarship at Utica College, or the Earle Ford Brothertown Scholarship.

Arrangements are with Mark C. Bentz Funeral Service, Inc., New Hartford.


Bernice was a dear woman, who was principled and creative.

Decades ago while working at General Electric, she saw the different way a performance evaluation was handled for a male engineer and for a woman secretary in a particular instance -- to the secretary's detriment. Bernice quietly brought the matter to the attention of the human resources department. As a result, the woman's performance was addressed in the same manner as the man's. The secretary never knew the role Bernice played in her fair treatment.

An alumna of Utica College, Bernice established a college scholarship specifically for ā€œCā€ students who showed promise. Years later she took steps to support medical education in a most personal way. Impressed by the care her brother received at Upstate Medical University, she willed her remains to the university's anatomical gift program.

Bernice's beautiful paintings, her quilts, and her table decorations attest to her creativity and her discipline. We display her art in our home where it is a daily reminder of this wonderful person.

We were privileged to know Bernice. May she rest in peace.
Julie & Tom Quinn

Bernice was such a smart, engaged, and lovely person. A self-made woman in so many ways. She had a conscience and the confidence to live by it. In her positions at GE she quietly helped women employees in ways they never knew (and this at a time when women were not always accorded respect in the workplace). She was creative with her fine artwork in watercolors and quilting. We are grateful for having known her. And we express our sympathy to Bud who has been steadfast in love and devotion. Rest In Peace, dear Bernice.
Julie & Tom Quinn

Dear Bud,
Sorry for your loss. Thank you and Bernice for being so good to us in the Waterville house.
Sending hugs. Sarah, Mitchell,Hannah and Keith
Sarah Posson

Thinking of you Bud. Cherish the years you brought happy and caring years together. She was a lovely lady. Peace to you.
Gertrude Rieben

Bernice was such a wonderful lady, she taught my mom how to quilt, and they spent many hours quilting. I remember her beloved dog Peaches and the joy they gave each other. Bernice, you and my mom can now quilt in heaven. I also have two watercolors that you painted for my mom. You will be missed.
Michelle Braund

Bud, we are so sorry for the loss of Bernice.
We are praying for you and her family. May the Lord give peace during this time. May His light continue to shine in your heart knowing that she is a peace. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe.
Lynn Tillson