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Dec. 1, 1925 – Aug. 19, 2013

Agnes H. Benfanti, a longtime teacher’s aide in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, died Monday in her East Amherst home after a long illness. She was 87.

Born Agnes Hutton in Edinburgh, Scotland, Mrs. Benfanti left home and moved to Toronto by herself at age 16. She spent 10 years there, during which time she took a job as a waitress and befriended a woman with Buffalo connections.

It was through that friend that she first met her husband, the late Louis R. Benfanti, who lived on the West Side of Buffalo. The two were married after dating for five years, and Mr. Benfanti brought his bride to Western New York.

Mrs. Benfanti had a 26-year career as a teacher’s aide in the district’s physical education department, where she stressed to her students the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Twenty-two of those years were spent at Kenmore Middle School. She retired in 1990.

Not one to ignore her own advice, Mrs. Benfanti maintained an active lifestyle throughout her lifetime. In Orlando, Fla., where she spent her winters, she took up golf in her 60s and competed against her fellow snowbirds. She also led an exercise class and volunteered often at Walt Disney World.

A Kenmore resident for 51 years, Mrs. Benfanti became involved in local synchronized swimming after her daughters took it up as members of the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes. She and her husband served as officials for 25 years and were among the first officials to work the Empire State Games after the games’ inception in 1978.

Survivors include two daughters, Angela Hoyes and LuAnn Ostanski, and a son, Louis.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. today in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.