AKWESASNE – Florence B. Benedict, “Katsitsienhawi”, 87 of Island Road, passed away early Wednesday morning, March 27, 2019 at Cornwall Community Hospital after a brief illness.
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Florence was born June 3, 1931 on Cornwall Island, the daughter of the late Alex “Sakoiewata” and Cecelia “Kahontineshon” (Lefebvre) Hopps. She first attended Cornwall Island Indian Day School before attending CCVS and a Commercial Business College. She later attended Mater Dei, where she achieved her GED and took courses toward her degree in Religious Studies. On September 20, 1952, she married Ernest Benedict at the Massena Center Methodist Parsonage with Rev. Masters, officiating. He predeceased her on January 8, 2011.
While in high school, she worked as a waitress at NY Café. She also worked for a time as a seamstress for Warner Brothers Corset Factory. Florence was a member of the Cornwall Island Homemakers and was active in preparing hot lunches for the children at the Cornwall Island Indian Day School. She later worked as an aide and cook at the Marlboro Nursing Home and taught students at the Akwesasne Freedom School. She had a great passion and love for basketmaking and was known throughout the country for her baskets. She shared and taught this passion with many in the privacy of her home and at the Akwesasne Museum. Florence was also a devout Catholic and communicant of St. Regis Catholic Mission Church, where she taught catechism for many years, was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society, and maintained the church linens for many years. She was also a member of the Tri-District Elders. She enjoyed gardening, bird watching, and while her children were younger, she assisted her late husband on the farm.
Florence is survived by her children and their spouses, Lloyd and Donna Benedict and Rebecca Benedict, both of Akwesasne, Ontario and Daniel and Maureen Benedict of Akwesasne, Quebec; her son-in-law, Dan George of Akwesasne, Ontario; her grandchildren, Lloyd Jr., Luz, Jasmine, Patrick, Samantha, Karhiiostha, Kaheratonkwas, Julia, Katelyn, and Jessica Benedict and Kawehras George; her great grandchildren, Tyas, Peyton, Tehya, Jemison, Aubrey, Jaxson, Mila, Maverick, Kennedy, Sarah, Kendra, Halo, Bowe, Annika, and Rachel; her sisters, Alice Jacobs and Julia Roundpoint, both of Akwesasne; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Mrs. Elda Cook, Akwesasne, NY and Harold Olan, Milton, NY.
In addition to her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by a daughter, Salli Benedict on May 15, 2011; a grandson, Diamond Tyas Benedict; a great grandson, Cohen Kosinski-Benedict; two son-in-laws, Fred Brown and Ron Kohl; a sister, Marita Skidders, and two brothers, Joseph Harry Pyke and one in infancy.
Friends may call at the Tri-District Elders, Cornwall Island, starting at 7:00 PM Sunday until 12:00 PM Tuesday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday 2:00 PM at St. Regis Catholic Mission Church with Rev. Jerome Pastores, celebrating. Burial will be held privately at Cornwall Island Methodist Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Akwesasne Freedom School, St. Regis Catholic Mission Church, or the Akwesasne Mohawk Ambulance Service.