Benita Anne Wood, 90, formerly of Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Benita passed away peacefully on March 31, 2022, surrounded by her loved ones.  She was a bright light who brought much joy to her family, friends and everyone she met.

Benita was born Memorial Day, May 30, 1931. She was raised by her loving parents, Anthony John Wood and Marceline Grace Constance, in Clayton, New York.  She moved to Watertown, NY when she was 18 years old to take her first job with the NY State Telephone Company. She married Carmelo Spano at St. Anthony’s Church on Nov. 23, 1950. They moved to Carlsbad, California in 1956 where she made her home but returned to NNY often to visit family and friends. After her divorce to Carmelo in 1965 she worked as a Kinney Shoes store manager, juggling her career as a single Mom to her “four boys.”

She married Paul Parsons in 1976 and he died in 1982. Benita changed careers and went to work for the Employment Development Department with the State of California after marrying Paul. She again rose quickly through the ranks, managing the Oceanside and Escondido offices until her retirement in 1993.

Her third husband, Cleveland Wright passed away in 2017. Benita loved to sew and do arts and crafts, a talent she inherited from her mother. She made her own clothes for work, and later after retirement, made beautiful quilts. She also made hundreds of holiday projects that adorn the households of the ones she loved.

Benita is survived by her four sons; Anthony, Oceanside, CA; Kevin, La Mesa, CA; Shawn, San Jose, CA and Damian, Carlsbad, CA.  Benita leaves behind five siblings – Barbara Robinson, LaFargeville; Joann (William) Anderson, El Cajon, CA; Charles (Sue), Clayton; Joyce Ivey (Gary Lalonde) , Clayton; and Roger (Sally), Hughesville, MD. She is survived by seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial Funeral mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, by her nephew, Father Donald A. Robinson at St. Mary’s Church, Clayton.