Benjamin, Maura M.

Benjamin, Maura M.

Pretty Marsh, Maine — Maura M. Benjamin died peacefully Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, at her seaside farm, “Maura’s Meadow”, in Pretty Marsh, Maine. She was 81.

Mrs. Benjamin loved the flowers in the field, a succession of Bichon Frise dogs (jokingly described by a sign on the barn door as “bête et méchant”, or “stupid and malicious”, somewhat inaccurate given the stealth and cunning of their persistent and focused malice toward rugs), the sea, and her adopted Maine home.

A graduate of Vassar College, and former assistant editor of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, she was a representative of Christie’s in Palm Beach, and served on the committee for the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s “Race for the Cure.” Mrs. Benjamin was the honorary founder and former board member of Wayside House, and received its highest volunteer honor, the Butterfly Award. For many years, she served on the advisory board of the Hanley-Hazeldon Foundation. She was a member of the health grants committee of the Community Foundation of Palm Beach & Martin Counties, and established a scholarship fund through the foundation. Mrs. Benjamin also served as an advisory trustee of the Society of the Four Arts. Maura’s many accomplishments in life included receipt of the Women of Distinction award from Palm Beach Atlantic University and her term as President of the Garden Club of Mount Desert.

Born and raised in New York, she later moved to Florida, where she met her love of over 40 years, William E. Benjamin, II, who predeceased her by two years, and with whom she will rest, along with her mother and childhood nanny, on the farm she loved.

She is survived by her only child, Jamie Riordan; five stepchildren, William E. Benjamin III, Beatrice Benjamin, Alexandra Benjamin, Christopher Benjamin and Anne Green; and grandchildren, Katie, Sam and Jack Riordan.

Memorial services will be held in 2017.

Donations in her name may be made to the Maine Community Foundation, 245 Main Street, Ellsworth, Maine 04605; the SPCA, 141 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, Maine 04605; or to the Sammy Fund, care of Acadia Veterinary Clinic, 21 Federal Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.

Condolences may be expressed at

4 Condolences

  • Sheila K Riggs Posted September 30, 2016 8:55 am

    Dear Holly and Jamie, We have just read the beautiful and touching obituary you wrote for your mother in the New York Times. When we left you after our visit to Maine two weeks ago, we could not help but reflect upon how incredibly fortunate Maura was to have your loving care at her life’s end in her own special and favorite place during these last difficult months. We also remember her regal presence from a visit she made to you a number of years ago. Dick and I both send our sympathy to you and to your family and we look forward to seeing you soon so that we can tell you that in person. With our love, Sheila and Dick Riggs

  • Anna Mann Posted October 1, 2016 3:48 pm

    Dear Jamie, How I miss my friend. When I married my husband, Bill, one of the great delights in my life was to become friends with Maura. She was so beautiful, so kind and welcoming. We started our book club together in Palm Beach because we both loved reading and our friendships with our small group increased as the years went by. On my dressing table stands a picture of Maura and I and our two Bills. I will cherish her memory.
    Anna and Bill Mann.

  • John Baily Posted October 1, 2016 7:23 pm

    Maura’s Bill was the leader, for many years of a men’s Lunch Club called The Silverbacks in Palm Beach. She will be fondly remembered by all surviving Silverbacks for her kindness and friendship.

  • Ann Proctor McKee Posted October 3, 2016 8:56 pm

    Dear Jamie: As you know, your mother and I were good friends from the time we were freshmen at Vassar. She accompanied me on my 1st trip to Europe. We laughed thru the New York years and the Florida years. I was at your beautiful wedding in Bay Head (and caught the bouquet!). When I developed cancer, she was one of the first to call. I will miss her wit and sparkle. My deepest condolences to you and your family. With love, Ann McKee

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