Marie Antoinette Benko

02/15/2011 3:18 PM |

Marie Antoinette Benko

Marie Antoinette Benko died Feb. 6 at her home in Greenport. She was 93.

She was born Nov. 25, 1917, in Vienna, Austria, to William and Mary Kral. Her father came to the United States in 1929; Marie, along with her mother and brother, Stanley, joined him a year later. The Kral family name is engraved on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor at Ellis Island.

Marie quickly learned to speak English and was an excellent student at Southold High School, graduating with honors. She married Joseph Benko in 1937, and they moved from Southold to Greenport, where they owned and operated Benko’s Deli and the JB Liquor store on South Street.

Marie was an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and a dedicated volunteer at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. According to family, she loved to crochet, knit and play canasta with her friends, and attended all the local school plays and concerts that her five daughters participated in. She earned her long-awaited driver’s license at age 57. Marie believed donating blood was important, and her picture appeared in The Suffolk Times when she was honored by Eastern Long Island Hospital for the numerous pints of blood she gave over the years.

Predeceased by her husband in 1968 and her brother, Stanley, in 1940, she is survived by her daughters, Mary Ann Klipp of Aquebogue, Josephine Geehreng of Cutchogue, Linda Webb of Kingsburg, Calif., Nancy Sprenkle of Clovis, Calif., and Dianne Cahill of Delhi, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.