Mary Ann Bensinger, in her 102nd year, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2019, at her home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Mary was born in Wilmington in 1917 the oldest of 12, to the late Frank and Elizabeth Nardo Mancari, Italian immigrants. She had to leave school in the 8th grade to help care for her younger siblings. When she was a teenager her father became sick and she had to work to help support the family. She worked at St. Francis Hospital in the laundry and cafeteria and later in Mary C. I. William Elementary School Cafeteria. In 1940 Mary married the neighborhood boy, Larry Bensinger. They soon had two children and when America entered World War II Larry enlisted as a Navy Seabee. Mary contributed to the war effort by taking a job at the Pennsylvania Railroad as a painter, where she worked for 6 years. After that Mary worked at the Bond Crown and Cork Company (Continental Can) for 25 years. At Continental Can she was voted in as the first female shop steward. Mary was always involved with the union and worked on various committees such as the safety committee. In the 1960s she had Doms Sub Shop for about 5 years.
Mary loved school and stressed the need for an education with her children and grandchildren. Sad that she didnt attend high school, at 57 years old she returned to school and received her high school diploma 3 years later from James H. Groves High School. In her 60s Mary worked as a nurses aide for about 6 years.
Mary was always the heart of the family. First to her siblings who she helped care for and later to her children and grandchildren. Holidays were filled with lots of laughter and plenty of food. In addition to all the Italian dishes, Mary made numerous candies and cookies to share and as gifts to friends and family. You would never go to Marys house that she didnt have a cake or brownies for her guests. When she wasnt cooking, she was at one of the local senior centers or out with her many friends.
Mary was pre-deceased by her parents, 7 of her siblings and by her late husband, Lawrence P. Bensinger. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Pierce of Newark, DE son, Frank Bud Bensinger and his wife Molly of Burke, VA daughter, Christina Knauer and her husband Tim of West Chester, PA daughter, Joyce Bensinger and her husband, Gerry of Delaware City, DE, and 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the many devoted, caring and loving staff of Delaware Hospice, especially CNA, Beverly McCalla; Nurse, Laura Angell; Doctor, Christopher Altamuro; Social Worker, Linda Wills and Reverend Michael Ntow. We would also like to thank St Johns Eucharistic Minister, Jose Rodriquez. We would also like to acknowledge Marys grandson, Ethan Horisk who resided with her and provided her with exceptionally loving attention and care.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Mary on Saturday, June 15 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM at St John the Beloved Church, 907 Milltown Road, Wilmington, 19808. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 AM and burial will immediately follow in All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, DE.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Shopping Center, Newark, DE 19711 (www.delawarehospice.org or 302-478-5707).
For a more complete obituary and to leave an online condolence visit www.mccreryandharra.com