Iona M. Benjamin

Iona M. Benjamin (nee Townsend), formerly of Scranton, died Tuesday at her home in Lebanon.

Born March 21, 1930, daughter of Jennie Thelma Walter and Charles Townsend, she attended the John Adams School and North Scranton Junior High. At the age of 17, she married World War II veteran Seymour Benjamin, to whom she was married for 49 years. She worked as a seamstress, and was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. She and her family lived primarily in Scranton, eventually settling in Lebanon, where she resided for the last 28 years of her life.

Known as "Gramma" and later "Nona," she was most recognized for being a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. A steadfast homemaker, she greeted every guest with a vigilant hospitality. Refusal of her dotage was a futile endeavor, and nary a soul left her home hungry nor spent a night without tightly tucked clean sheets and several pillows. She drew great joy in building crafts and hand-sewn clothing, which she gifted to her family and loved ones.

Iona is survived by her three daughters, Darlene Barrett, Iona "Peaches" Facciponti and Valerie Ventre; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Helen, Marilyn and Carolyn; and brothers, Norman, Charles, John and Eddie.

The funeral will be Monday at 10 a.m. at the Howard J. Snowdon Funeral Home, 1810 Sanderson Ave., Scranton. Interment, Fairview Memorial Park, Elmhurst.

Friends may call Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at by sending a donation e-card in her honor addressed to

For online condolences, visit

Funeral Home

Howard J Snowdon Funeral Home
1810 Sanderson Avenue Scranton, PA 18509
(570) 343-0712

Published in Scranton Times on Mar. 7, 2014