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Joan Alice Williams

Joan Alice Williams Obituary

Joan Alice Benson Williams, age 88, graduated to the spiritual world on October 19, 2019, at her home in Delray Beach, FL. She is remembered by many as a life-long advocate for children and the underprivileged, a gracious hostess, trustee of family lore, and a constant source of love and comfort for family and friends.
Joan was born July 23, 1931, in Poughkeepsie, NY, to Dr. Harold A. Benson and Helen Cole Benson. Her father earned the moniker of family poet while her mother was known for her entertaining and cooking skills, talents Joan and her sisters shared. As a girl, Joan loved spending summers at the family's Benson Camp on Lake Piseco, NY, and catching the train to New York City to shop and catch a show.
Following graduation from Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, Joan attended Connecticut College for Women in New London, CT and Vassar College, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education/Psychology. During that time, at a summer dance in Piseco, Joan accepted Bruce Edwin Williams' invitation to dance and it was a match as Joan was a statuesque 5'11" to Bruce's 6'3". They were married on June 28, 1952, in Poughkeepsie.
After relocating to Cobleskill, NY, where they raised their two daughters, Joan threw herself into the community. She was the director of three Head Start centers in Schoharie County from 1961-1972, an active member of the Cobleskill Hospital Auxiliary, chaired the county's Red Cross Bloodmobile from 1966-1970, and headed the Schoharie County Republican Party, tirelessly campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964. While Joan never thought of herself as a "great" cook, she truly was. She gained a reputation for her dinner parties and family gatherings where Bruce would tinkle the ivories on his two grand pianos nestled side by side.
In 1972, the family relocated to Delray Beach where Joan worked in real estate and later the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and West Palm Beach's Deaf Service Center. Here Joan and Bruce welcomed their grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews, whom they adored and showered with much attention and affection.
Preceding Joan in death is husband Bruce, two sisters Joyce Benson Caswell and Jean Benson Sherman, and her brother Harold A. Benson, Jr.
Joan is survived by daughters Kim Sandra Williams of Delray Beach, FL and Kathy Williams Golden (Robert) of Denver, CO; her brother's partner John Schneider of Delray Beach, FL; sister-in-law Sally Williams Tallamy of Burgess, VA; grandchildren Nicholas Benson Thom (Britten), Mary Elizabeth Golden, Mackenzie Williams Golden, Dale Elliott Golden (Rachel); and several nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved well and dearly.
A private celebration of her life will be held at Higgins Bay, Piseco, NY, at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to the .
Published in The Palm Beach Post from Nov. 23 to Nov. 24, 2019
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