Florence (Obrigewitch) DiBenedetto

July 9, 1923 ~ December 4, 2023 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Florence DiBenedetto Obituary

Florence passed away peacefully in her home of 72 years surrounded by family early in the morning of Dec. 4, 2023. Florence was born on her family’s homestead in Belfield, N.D. She shared stories of farm life during the 1930s drought and depression years and the transition from horse powered to mechanized farming. She graduated from Belfield High School and attended two years at North Dakota State University then decided to become an airline stewardess after watching her father fly his own plane and land in the fields on the family farm. She graduated from McConnell Airline Stewardess School in Minneapolis in 1947 and quickly accepted a job with Northwest Airlines stationed in Portland, Ore., flying the Minneapolis to Portland route. While working for Northwest Airlines she did promotional advertising for the airline as well as Ipana Toothpaste because of her beautiful smile. She met the love of her life, A.P. “Benny” DiBenedetto, in 1949 and they married in 1950. Later moving into their home that Benny designed and built in southwest Portland. Florence was very active in her church, St. Thomas More, participating in the Altar Society and Guilds. Florence and Benny raised four children, and both were active in supporting Central Catholic and St. Mary’s Academy as fundraiser chairs. Florence also served on the Archbishop Tea Committee, Christ Child Society and the Serra Club. She loved volunteering at Albertina Kerr Center, was active in the Red Hat Society, the STM 49ers and cheering on the Oregon Ducks, North Dakota State Bison, Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Portland Trail Blazers. She enjoyed traveling. Florence and Benny traveled to the South Pacific Islands, Italy, England, Hong Kong, Thailand, many locations in the United States and family trips to Alaska and Hawaii. Florence’s kindness, generosity, strong faith and unwavering love was shared with so many. She made a sincere effort to get to know all her children’s friends and in later years her grandchildren’s friends. All of whom continued to feel a special connection to her through the years. She will be missed by so many. She celebrated her centennial birthday in July and was surrounded by family members from North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California and Canada, as well as many friends. She leaves behind a loving legacy of giving to others that are less fortunate. Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Benny; her sister, Otillie Woodcock; and brothers, Alfred and Joseph Obrigewitch. Florence is survived by her son, Jeff DiBenedetto; daughters, JoAnne Burdick (Dave), MJ Schouten (Pieter) and Michele Blackerby (Keith); grandchildren, Ben Schouten, Sara Schouten, Jennifer Blackerby, Kathryn Blackerby, Sheila Burdick and Ross Burdick; sister, Genevieve Becker; brother, Pat Obrigewitch (Betty); and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Catholic Scholarship Fund, St. Mary’s Academy Tuition Assistance, Mt. Angel Abbey Foundation or the American Red Cross. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Dec. 28, 2023, at St. Thomas More Church, Portland, Ore. Arrangements by Riverview Abbey

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