Issue 12 — Thursday, October 23, 2014

HONESDALE — Melanie (Allen) Benjamin, loving mother and the world’s best grandma, age 68 of Wurtsboro, NY peacefully entered into eternal rest on Thursday, Oct. 16 at her home with her children by her side.
Melanie was born on Nov. 14, 1945 in East Meadow, NY, the daughter of the late Ronald and Alma Devereaux Allen and was raised in Mill Rift, PA.
She was a graduate of Delaware Valley High School, Orange County Community College and the New School of Social Research.
Melanie spent her career as a maternity nurse at New York Hospital in NYC, St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh, St. Anthony’s Community Hospital in Warwick, and more than 25 years at Horton Memorial Hospital in Middletown. During her career, she was blessed to have the opportunity to witness many births, to work with amazing colleagues, and to make lasting friendships.
She is a member of the Westbrookville United Methodist Church in Westbrookville.
Melanie is survived by her daughter, Melissa Benjamin and three sons, Christopher Benjamin, Brian Benjamin and his wife Lacey, all of Wurtsboro and Matthew Benjamin of Westbrookville. Throughout her life, her children were her greatest joy and pride. She is also survived by her two grandchildren who were the light of her life. Additionally, she is survived by her dear friend William Hentschel of Wurtsboro.
Melanie was pre-deceased by her loving husband Frank Mastrianni, and her brother Bruce Wayne Allen.
Visitation and services were held Monday, Oct. 20 at the Knight-Auchmoody Funeral Home, 154 E. Main St., Port Jervis. Pastor Fred Loving officiated. Cremation will take place at MacLennan Hall Crematory, Milford, PA.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of donor’s choice.
Arrangements are by the Knight-Auchmoody Funeral Home, 154 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY. For information, directions or to send a condolence note to the family visit

PORT JERVIS — Lawrence O. “Larry” Bensley, Jr., age 67 of Port Jervis, NY passed away Thursday, Oct. 16 in Port Jervis. He was born on Sept. 7, 1947 in Wantage, NJ, the son of the late Lawrence O. Bensley, Sr. and Esther McKeeby Bensley.
Larry proudly served our country during the Viet Nam War with the US Navy. He worked as a shipping and receiving clerk for Skydyne Inc, in Port Jervis. He was a life member of the Tri-State Naval Ship, Post 7241 in Port Jervis, a member of the Port Jervis Fire Dept., and the Black Rock Hunting Club. He enjoyed fishing, hunting the great outdoors and was an avid golfer.
Larry married Diana Mae Conklin Bensley who survives at home. He is also survived by his three daughters, Trina M. Bensley of Ft. Myers, Florida, Tosha L. Bensley and her companion Alexander Kemmlein of Naples, Florida and Bobbi Jo Bensley of Port Jervis, three grandchildren, three brothers, Gary Bensley and his wife Diane of El Jo Bean, Florida, Charles Bensley and his wife Cheryl of Sparrowbush, Neal Bensley and his wife Michele of Matamoras, PA., four sisters, Mary Tippens and her companion Lester Taylor of Sparrowbush, Latricia Halstead and her companion Donald of Lakeland, Florida, Sandra Olver and her husband Robert of Sparrowbush, and Sheila Delgado and her husband Ray of Fruitland, Florda, several nieces and nephews.
He was pre-deceased by his brother Randy and his sister Valerie. Visitation was held Wednesday, Oct. 22 for 10 a.m. to noon at the Knight-Auchmoody Funeral Home, 154 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY. Funeral services were held Wednesday at noon at the funeral home with Rev. Nancy Vonderhorst officiating. Interment followed at Clove Cemetery, Sussex, NJ.
The Bensley family would like to send our heartfelt appreciation to the the Fourth Floor, ICU, Doctors, Nurses and Staff of Bon Secours Community Hospital for their professional and compassionate care shown to Larry during his illness.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Assoc., NY, NY Office, 333 7th Ave., 17th Floor, NY, NY 10001. Arrangements are by the Knight-Auchmoody Funeral Home, 154 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY. For information, directions or to send a condolence note to the family visit

TAFTON — Claude D. Seeley, Jr., age 88, of Tafton, died Monday, Oct. 20 at home. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 55 years, Lillian Woliski Seeley, in 2007.
Born June 15, 1926, in Tafton, he was the son of the late Claude D. Sr. and Josephine (Bea) Seeley. He was a graduate of Hawley High School. During World War II, he served in the Navy and was stationed on the USS Barr in the South Pacific in 1944.
He spent many years in the propane gas industry, finally retiring as manager for Amerigas in Honesdale. Deciding retirement wasn’t for him, he went to work part-time for Highhouse Mobile Mart in Tafton. In addition, he was also an owner of Seeley’s Landing, Inc., the oldest business on Lake Wallenpaupack.
Claude was a Charter Member of the Tafton Fire Company where he was fire chief from 1949 until 1980. He was proud of the fact that his family had donated the land where the Tafton Firehouse still stands today. In 2012, Claude was honored to be presented with a Lifetime Service Award, the first of its kind, for “a lifetime of dedicated service” to the Tafton Fire Company. In addition to all his other fire company activities, he also spent many years volunteering to do set-up work for the Paupack Boy Scout Troop at the fire house. He had formerly been a member of the Pike County Industrial Authority.
Claude was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. No matter what was happening in his life, his family always came first.
He is survived by two daughters: Mary Jo Hunt and her husband Phil of Hawley and Susan Seeley-Lee of Tafton; five grandsons; one granddaughter; eleven great grandchildren; his brother and sister-in-law: Donald and Bertha Seeley of Tafton; and four sisters-in-law: Joan Savage, Shirley Meling, Pauline Meinzer and Gennie Woliski.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Richard, and a sister, Beulah.
Calling hours were Wednesday, October 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Teeters’ East Chapel, 505 Church St, Hawley, PA. The funeral is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 23, at a time to be determined. Private cremation will be held at Lake Region Crematory, Lake Ariel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Tafton Fire & Rescue, PO Box 5, Tafton, PA 18464.
The Seeley family would like to extend a special thank you to Laurie Ann Bradley and his granddaughter, Jennifer Schock, for their kindness, compassion and loving care during Claude’s illness.
Finally, Claude would like to say to all who knew and loved him, “Be good.”

HONESDALE — Margaret Helen Shields, 70, of Honesdale passed away Thursday, Oct. 16 at Hospice of the Sacred Heart, Dunmore, PA. The daughter of the late John and Mildred (Fuhse) Michell, she was born Aug. 14, 1944 in Calicoon, NY.
Survivors include her beloved dog Jack; two sons John Knapp and Steven Knapp both of Shohola, Pa; grandson John Knapp, Jr of Stroudsburg, PA; granddaughter Katie Knapp of Shohola, PA; brother-in-law Pete Kessler and her cousin Lois Devereaux. The family would like to give a special thanks to Vera Shields for all she has done. Margaret was predeceased by her sister Mary Kestler.
Services and cremation will be private at the convenience of the family. Burial will take place at St. Ann’s Cemetery, Shohola, PA at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to the Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Dr, Honesdale, PA 18431.
Arrangements by Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 West Harford St,, Milford, Pa.

LORDS VALLEY — Gregory Slifko, age 59, of Lords Valley died following an illness Friday, Oct. 17, at Moses Taylor Hospital, Scranton. Born Feb. 24, 1955, in Callicoon, NY, he was the son of the late John and Barbara T. (Quick) Slifko.
Prior to becoming ill, he had worked as a boat mechanic. When he was younger, he also served in the Merchant Marines. In his free time, he loved to hunt and fish.
He is survived by his daughter: Kelly Loli of Florida; his sister: Linda Bakker of Lords Valley; a granddaughter: Hayden Loli of Florida; a niece and three nephews.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Slifko.
Calling were Monday, Oct. 20 at Teeters’ East Chapel, 505 Church St, Hawley, PA. The funeral was held at the funeral home Tuesday, Oct. 21 with Rev. Thomas Major of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, Shohola, officiating.
Burial followed in Perry Cemetery, Lords Valley.
Memorials may be made to National Kidney Foundation, Finance Dept., 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016 or


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