Thomas J. Benson, 86, of Mahwah N.J., formerly of Upper Saddle River, N.J., and Darien, Conn., died Sept. 29.
Born in Newburgh on Oct. 5, 1926, Tom and his eight siblings were raised by their mother, Mary Murphy Benson Lepore. He received his bachelor's degree from Central Connecticut University and a master's in secondary education from University of Bridgeport. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 through 1946.
Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he began a professional career dedicated entirely to education. He taught in the Darien, Conn., school system before becoming an assistant principal in the Greenwich, Conn., school district. He returned to Darien as principal of Middlesex Middle School. He became superintendent of the Upper Saddle River, N.J., district in 1973, serving in this position until 1992. He has enjoyed a retirement filled with traveling, golf, bridge games and summer vacations with his children and grandchildren in Lake Placid. Tom was a faithful parishioner at Presentation RC Church in Upper Saddle River.
Tom is survived by his son, Thomas W. and his wife Alice of Weston, Mass.; daughters Linda Meiman and her husband Jim of Ramsey, N.J., Beth O'Connor and her husband Russ of Lisbon, Conn., Carol Dannenfelser and her husband Dave of Rockaway, N.J.; brothers Jim Benson of Georgia, Bob Benson of Paramus, N.J., Larry Lepore of Pompton Lakes, N.J., Vinnie Lepore of Ocala, Fla.; and his sister Eileen Benson of New York City. He is the loving grandpa to Kristin, Nicky, Ben, Meghan, Shannon, Laura, David, James and Aidan.
He was predeceased by his brothers David and George, his sister Pat Ciceri and his loving wife Carol Hurley Benson (2011).
Funeral services in New Jersey were handled by Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home, Ramsey, N.J. Mass was celebrated at Church of the Presentation (Upper Saddle River) Monday, Oct. 7. Local arrangements overseen by the M.B. Clark Inc. Funeral Home of Lake Placid. Interment will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at St. Agnes Cemetery in Lake Placid. The Rev. John Yonkovig will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom's memory can be made to Boys Town (www.boystown.org).