Phyllis E. Benjamin, of Lewisburg, formerly of Wall, N.J., passed away on the morning of Sunday, March 24, 2019, in her home after a long illness.
Phyllis was born Sept. 30, 1932, in Jersey City, N.J., the daughter of the late J. Edward and Madeline P. (Pollard) Smith. On April 18, 1953, she married Richard W. Benjamin in Spring Lake, N.J., who preceded her in death in 2010. Their loving union thrived for 57 years.
Phyllis is survived by her brothers, James Smith of Wall, N.J., and Wayne Smith of Ringoes, N.J.; daughter, Anne Carol Sagebiel of Denver, Colo.; son, Rick Benjamin of Lewisburg; son, Jonathan E. Benjamin of Hamilton, N.J.; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Phyllis was a 1950 graduate of Manasquan High School (N.J.), and was a homemaker and classical musician. She was a student of renowned organists Herbert Burtis and John Ferris. Phyllis had a long career as an organist and choir director, serving for more than 30 years in several New Jersey houses of worship, including the Manasquan United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Red Bank.
Aside from her musical activities, she was an avid gardener and traveler. Phyllis also loved studying about ancient Egypt, detective stories, and walks in the gardens of Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills. She was a very brave, witty, and strong woman and she will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Friends and family may visit from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 29, at First Presbyterian Church, 18 Market St., Lewisburg, followed by the funeral at 3, with the Rev. Dr. Barbara Yorks officiating.
Private interment will follow at the Lewisburg Cemetery.
The family will provide the flowers and suggests memorial contributions be made to the Lewisburg Area Music Association, c/o Lewisburg Area High School, 545 Newman Road, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
The family is being assisted by Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, South Second and St. Louis Streets, Lewisburg.