Violet Alice (Kissel) Benoit lived a full life in her 96 years. Born in Staten Island to immigrants from Slovakia, she grew up during the Depression and learned to live simply and with gratitude for what she had, like drinking coffee and eating rye bread with her father in the early morning hours and sledding and skating with all the neighborhood kids.
She attended Ithaca College during war time where she studied all things physical, graduating in 1946 with a Bachelor’s in Science degree and her sights on teaching physical education. She met her husband Dave during a reunion weekend and they married soon after to begin their life together.
They had six children over 16 years and lived in Baltimore, southern Germany, and Staten Island before settling in western Massachusetts in the late 50’s. Violet returned to her work as a physical education teacher in 1960 and gave her energy and enthusiasm to the girls at Birchland Park Junior High School in East Longmeadow for about 25 years.
Violet loved to ski and she gave that gift to all of her children. She also could clear the dance floor when she stepped onto it with her husband and a Glenn Miller tune. She loved flowers and birds, gardening and travel, a good story and a reason to celebrate. Her final party raged from 1-4 AM two weeks before she passed, and included her best friend Bridget, her dog friend Lenny, light-up hats and lots of funky music.
She is now free and reunited with her husband of 74 years, two of her children (Jeanne and Glenn), her family of origin and many beloved pets. Those who remain to carry on her spirit include her children Suzanne, Scott, Dave, and Robin and (chosen daughter) Bridget, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She would remind you all to enjoy every moment.
Services for Violet will be private and at the convenience of the family. Wilbraham Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
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