Paula K. Benjamin, 83, formerly of Altoona, passed away Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla., of natural causes. She was born in Baltimore, Md., daughter of the late Harry and Elsie Kairys. She married David J. Benjamin, formerly of Scranton, on May 2, 1954. He preceded her in death.
Surviving are three children: Sally K. Benjamin and fiance, Reginald P. LeBlanc, of St. Petersburg. Fla., Harry K. Benjamin and wife, Patricia A., of Altoona and Thomas N. Benjamin of Newport Beach, Calif.; grandchildren: Elizabeth A. Benjamin and husband, Adam M. Lardieri, Nicholas R. Benjamin, and fiancee, Heather J. Laird, Jennifer L. Benjamin and Emily C. Benjamin; great-grandchildren: Lila G. Benjamin, Isabella L. Benjamin and Ava M. Lardieri; two sisters-in-law: Charlotte B. Morris of Altoona and Roselle B. Fine of Clarks Summit.
She worked as a researcher for Randolph Paul, a preeminent author on the subject of federal income tax withholding, in Washington, D.C., before marrying and relocating to Altoona.
Mrs. Benjamin was a co-founder of Penn Mont Academy, Altoona, the first Montessori school licensed in Pennsylvania and the third in the nation.
She graduated from The Park School in Baltimore and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Smith College in 1950. During her time at Smith, Mrs. Benjamin spent a year abroad in Switzerland and studied at Sorbonne University in Paris.
Mrs. Benjamin was a past president of Hadassah, a member of the Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood and a great patron of the Altoona Area Public Library. She enjoyed golf, skiing, swimming, horseback riding and volunteering in education-related activities. She won the Blairmont Country Club Women's Golf Championship multiple times. After moving to Florida in 1995, she was an active member of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College.
Friends and family will be received from noon until the 1:30 p.m. memorial service on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at Temple Beth Israel with Rabbi Audrey Korotkin officiating. Interment will be at Mount Sinai Cemetery, Altoona.
In remembrance of Paula, those who wish may make a donation to Temple Beth Israel or the local Chapter of Hadassah.
Arrangements are by E. Merrill Smith Funeral Home Inc., 2309 Broad Ave., Altoona, PA 16601.