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Cynthia Anne "Kelly" PATERSON


1940 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Cynthia Anne "Kelly" PATERSON Obituary
PATERSON, Cynthia Anne "Kelly" December 29, 2016 Cynthia Anne Paterson; affectionately known as Kelly, was born on November 28, 1940 in Highland Parks, Michigan, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer at home on December 29, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. Kelly is survived by her loving husband of over 51 years, Jim and two adoring, wonderful children; Elizabeth Anne and Alexander James (Alexis); a beautiful, loving grandchild, Parker. Kelly is also survived by her brother, John Benzing and sister-in-law, Lisa of Tucson, Arizona and brother, Charles (Jane) of Caldonia, Michigan. In addition, she is also survived by her brother-in-law, Terry and sister-in-law, Kay Paterson of Tecumseh, Michigan. Kelly is also survived by nieces and nephews scattered about the country. Kelly was preceded in death by her parents; mother, Mildred and her father, E. Christopher Benzing and young brothers, Bruce Benzing and Adam Benzing. Kelly spent her childhood days living in small towns within Michigan and Illinois. During these formative and adventurous days she had a special love for horses. There was nothing she enjoyed more than going down to the horse barn to see and feed her prize animal, Graylady. She also loved sports and participated on organized teams playing basketball and softball at the high school level. At a very early age she was introduced to golf and over the years established and developed a single digit handicap. The game became a passion in her retirement years as she became a skilled golfer who really loved the game. She continued to play golf throughout her life. In 1958 Kelly graduated from Barrington High School in Barrington, IL and her undergraduate education at Hillsdale College in 1965. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Sociology with a Michigan teaching Certification Stamp. She was also recognized in "Who's who", in American Colleges as well as serving as the President of the Women's Council of Hillside College. After graduating Kelly married the love of her life, Jim Paterson on November 20, 1965 at the Methodist Church in Hillsdale, Michigan. They had known each other since being children in grade school at Carl F. Bailey Elementary School in Hillsdale, Michigan. Kelly began her professional career as an educator in 1964. After completing her first year as a third grade teacher in the Napoleon School District, in Michigan, her childhood alma mater. Kelly taught while her husband, James "Jim" finished his college degree at Hillsdale College, in Michigan. Kelly and Jim then decided to move to Tucson to teach school and raise a family. Soon after arriving in Tucson in 1968 they had two children, Elizabeth and Alex. During their early years, Kelly dedicated herself to her children at home but then Kelly decided to return to the work force as a Food Service Attendant. As the children grew older, Kelly obtained an instructional Classroom Aide position at E.C. Nash Elementary School. Kelly became a roving Classroom E S L Instructional Aide working in different schools within the Amphitheater School District. It was then that she decided to obtain her Arizona Teaching Certificate and in 1991 earned a Masters of Educational Administration Degree from Northern Arizona University. After obtaining her Master's Degree she was hired as the Coordinator, Language Acquisition and Culture Development Administrator for the E S L Department in the Amphitheater Public School District and went on to help develop and implement a District wide E S L program. Serving in this Administrator position enabled Kelly to personally enjoy and see student success and department teacher achievements at each grade level as students' academic performances increased throughout each school year. Being the Administrator in charge and earning recognition for program and student achievements, gave Kelly overwhelming personal satisfaction which become the highlight of her professional career. Kelly was a proud and dedicated employee. An excellent listener and problem solver not only as an Administrator but, also as a wife and parent. Kelly dearly loved working with her E S L students, teachers and staff members. She cared about people and always tried to be fair and just when dealing with them. Over the last year and one half, many of the former E S L Department teachers and friends have been kind, caring, extremely supportive and given personal time and effort to help Kelly get through her mounting health issues. After retiring Kelly loved to travel about the country, especially the Western States during the Summer months. These trips were planned around playing golf on each day of travel. Heading out of a Tucson in a random fashion to a surprise destination. Driving over 400 miles each day then stopping to find a golf course to play, with dinner following, then onto a motel for the night. This would become the routine from one day to the next until reaching the ultimate destination. Kelly enjoyed and cherished these adventures on the way to different cities. It was always an exciting trip for Kelly to look forward to during each Summer. Kelly always took an active role when becoming a member of an organization, such as the Omni Tucson national Women's Golf Association. Kelly served on many of the organizations' committees which was highlighted by her serving as the President as well as becoming a member of the Arizona Golf Association Women's golf course rater evaluator. This volunteer position gave her an opportunity to travel about the different golf courses within the Arizona. In addition to taking an active role in Club and State Golf Association Committees. Kelly volunteered annually for many years during the Tucson Professional Golf Events as well as many Charity Fund Raising Events about the different golf courses in Tucson. This volunteer work enabled her to meet and get to know many LPGA and PGA Professional Golfers and officials. Kelly always looked forward to serving in these events. Kelly not only played golf as an amateur regularly, several days of the week but took an active part in playing competitive golf as a member of the City Women's Golf Association League. She became well known for her golf skill, patience and knowledge of the rules by Local and State players who also appreciated her passion for the game and the joy of playing. Kelly always had a great sense of humor. In fact on many occasions Kelly would purposely tell a good natured joke to help other players relax. Thus, few people knew that Kelly had always wanted to be a comedian as she loved to laugh and have fun. She could also easily see the many positive sides of the challenges of this game. Kelly enjoyed the people she played with each day especially, during team play in competitive rounds. Kelly will be dearly missed by all who knew her! A special person! A Celebration of Life will be held in the Bella Vista Room at the Omni Tucson National Hotel from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Hor d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. The gathering of people will be informal. All that knew Kelly are invited! In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Kelly's name to "Youth On Their Own" with checks payable to Youth On Their Own. A very special thank you to Casa de la Luz Hospice personnel for their compassionate and dedicated care in helping Kelly complete her mission on earth. Also, another special thank you to the many dedicated, kind and thoughtful, "Home Instead" Caregivers who stayed with Kelly twenty four hours a day; seven days a week on scheduled shifts to provide her care. These two organizations were indeed extremely helpful and worked hard to provide a comfortable environment during every minute of the day. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Avalon Chapel.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Jan. 8, 2017
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