Mary S. Bence, 78, Brownville

BROWNVILLE, NY —  Mary Sue Bence, 78, of 117 St. Lawrence Ave E., Brownville, NY, passed away Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, at the Samaritan Medical Center.

Born Oct. 15, 1942, in Watertown, NY, daughter of the late Francis C. and Thelma C. (Baldwin) Martin, she graduated in 1960 from General Brown High School in 1960 and from the Watertown School of Commerce in 1962.

Following her graduation she worked at the Watertown School of Commerce as a secretary for many years. She then worked at Wiley Middle School as a secretary from 1985 until she retired in 2005.

She married Fred Bence on July 16, 1966, at the Immaculate Conception Church.  The couple resided in Watertown where she and her husband owned and operated Bence Insurance Agency.  Sue also worked at Bon Ton in the Salmon Run Mall for over 20 years, up until they closed.

She volunteered at the North Country’s Children’s Clinic. She enjoyed knitting and knitted hats for the men and women serving in Afghanistan. She was an avid gardener, and she loved spending time with her grandchildren.

When she and her husband resided in Watertown she was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and a very active member. She moved to Brownville in 1997 and became a communicant and member of the choir at the Immaculate Conception Church. Sue was also a member and treasurer for the General Brown Weekend Committee as well as a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

Among her survivors are a daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer L. (Tom) Cornwell, Youngsville, NC; a son and daughter-in-law, Jeff F. (Danielle) Bence, Watertown; nine grandchildren, Jordan, Julia, Jenna, Trevor, Austin, Emma, Noah, Ella and Michael; two sisters and their husbands, Ann (Dave) Bezy, Kathleen, GA, Michele (Terry) Dailey, Brownville; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Forte, Clifford Park, NY; a brother-in-law, Ted Bence, Saratoga, NY; several nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Besides her parents, she was predeceased by a granddaughter, Jenika, and an aunt and uncle, John and Myrna Garrity.

Donations may be made in Mary Sue’s memory to the Immaculate Conception Church, Sisters of the Precious Blood, or to the Brownville Fire Department.

Calling hours will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at the Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter.

A prayer will be said at 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home with a funeral Mass following at 2 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church with Rev. Don Robinson officiating.

Burial in Glenwood Cemetery will be held at the convenience of the family.

Online condolences may be made at