Josephine “Mama’ A. Benerakis, 96, passed from this earthly realm on September 5, 2021. Josephine was a resident of Feeding Hills for 75 years. Josephine was born in Westfield, MA on October 16, 1924, the daughter of the late Catherine (Pinas) Taraska and Joseph Taraska. She was predeceased by her husband, James J. Benerakis, in 2005.
Josephine attended Westfield schools and then Bay Path until school was disrupted by WWII.
Josephine was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She married James on July 4th, 1945. They had three children whom they devoted their life to provide the children the ability to attend college and an opportunity to succeed in life. She was a member of St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in East Longmeadow. Josephine was an avid seamstress. She found sewing relaxing and enjoyed making curtains for the household and so much more. She enjoyed supporting her children in completing their academic assignments while encouraging their continued education and career pursuits. Once her children were older, she reentered the workforce as Quality Control at Buxton Inc., until her retirement in 1987. She loved to be outdoors in the fresh air and being in open surroundings. She also enjoyed playing Solitaire, checkers, word games and cards, but, most importantly, attending family activities - especially her grandchildren’s, Jonathan and Nicole Stryjek, soccer games.
Josephine is survived by her children: Dr. Joseph J. Benerakis and wife, Michelle of Idaho, Jane H. Benerakis of Feeding Hills, and Ann J. Stryjek and husband, John of West Suffield, CT; four grandchildren- Jonathan and Nicole Stryjek of West Suffield CT and Joseph Benerakis and Sandra Monroe of Grass Valley CA, and several great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband James, her brothers James, Tadeus, Stanley, Adolph, Walter Taraska and her sister Helen Herbele.
Family and friends are invited to gather on Sunday September 12, 2021 from 4-6pm in Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation, 985 Main St., Agawam MA. Her funeral service will be on Monday September 13, 2021 at 10:00am in funeral home. Burial will follow in Springfield Street Cemetery, Feeding Hills.
Memorial contributions in Josephine’s name may be made to Hospice Services of Western MA, 1325 Springfield Street, Suite 12, Feeding Hills, MA 01030. To leave an online condolence, visit www.forastiere.com.