Merna Benedict Goett, died peacefully at her home in Monroe on Feb. 28, surrounded by her loving family.
Merna was born to Nelson and Merna (Elliman) Bingham on St. Patrick’s Day, 1932 in Montclair, N.J. Following the tragic death of her mother soon after childbirth, Merna was raised by her maternal grandparents in Hudson, Ohio.
She was just 16 when she graduated from high school and began her studies at Kent State University. Two years later, she transferred to The Ohio State University where she graduated with a degree in pharmaceutical sciences.
At OSU she met her husband, William D. Benedict, who was pursing his PhD. After they married in 1953, Merna worked as a pharmacist while Bill completed his studies. They also welcomed their first child, Rebecca, while living in Ohio. After Bill was awarded his doctorate, Merna and family moved back to Stepney, Conn., to Bill’s family farmstead and business, now Benedict’s Home & Garden.
In Connecticut, Merna’s family grew with the addition of sons, Bruce and Mark and daughter, Jane. Throughout the 1960s, Merna kept extremely busy raising her children, freezing and canning the bounty of fruits and vegetables and meat from the family farm, extending the family budget through sales of chicken eggs (delivered!) and working part-time at the local pharmacy. She was an active member of the Monroe Mother’s Club where she met some of her life-long friends.
Merna and Bill enjoyed square dancing with the Rockin’ Roosters square dance club and they both were active participants in Christ Church Tashua in Trumbull. Bill passed away in 1973 after an extended illness.
After Bill’s death, while working hard to successfully preserve the family business, Merna met and, in 1976, married John E. (Jack) Goett. Together they enjoyed numerous social activities, traveled extensively and appreciated spending winters in Bonita Beach, Fla.
Over the years, Merna’s family grew with marriages of her children and births of 11 grandchildren and eventually six great-grandchildren. Merna loved her family dearly and was devoted to all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Following Jack’s death in 1995, Merna continued to travel extensively, and she relished taking each of her grandchildren individually to national parks and elder hostel sites throughout the U.S.
Throughout her life, Merna was involved in varied activities including Altar Guild, Episcopal Church Women, Rotary Club, bowling nights, card social groups, reading, hosting family meals and gatherings and overseeing the dynamic growth of the family business.
Merna was a very generous and kind person. She kept an impeccable home and worked tirelessly throughout her life. She was extremely proud of her entire family and instilled in each of her offspring a strong work ethic and unshakable family values.
Merna was heartbroken in the last year of her life at the loss of her youngest child, Jane, to cancer.
Merna is survived by three sisters, Sarah (Josh) Dickinson of Bozeman, Mon., Jane (George) Schildge of Colt’s Neck, N.J., and Marjorie (Rolf) Wesche of Quebec, Canada, children Rebecca (Robert) Bottomley of Hardwick, Mass., Bruce (Pamela) and Mark (Jeanne) Benedict, both of Newtown, CT, son-in-law John Flader of Monroe and step-daughter Pamela Goett, of Malden Bridge, N.Y., grandchildren Sarah Duncan, William and David Bottomley, William, Kenneth, Michael, Elise and Jack Benedict, Matthew, Mark, Carolyn and Robert Flader, great-grandchildren Bria, Erik, Parker, Ryan, Charlotte and Adelyn, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews of multiple generations.
The family wishes to acknowledge the incredible full-time care provided over the last year by Ms. Ellie Shepherd whose compassion and dedication to Merna provided her with dignity and allowed her to live out her final days in the familiar setting of her home of nearly 64 years. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the Christ Church Trumbull (Tashua) 5170 Madison Ave., Trumbull, CT 06611, National Park Foundation or to a charity of your choice.
The family will hold a memorial service and celebration of Merna’s life at a later date when larger social gatherings can be safely hosted. Online condolences may be left at SpadaccinoFuneralHome.com.