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Obituaries September 16, 2010

Published on: September 16, 2010


Aida M. Torres-Rios passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Sun City Center, FL on Thursday, August 26, 2010. She leaves her beloved son Roberto and wife Noreen, two grandchildren (Robert and wife Lisa, and Kim), five great-grandchildren (Evan, Robbie, Julia, Zachary, and Nicholas), her faithful pet Lollypop, and many dear family members and friends, with a truly great legacy. Aída emigrated to New York City from Puerto Rico, married, and raised her family in Yonkers, NY, where she lived for fifty years, until her retirement to Sun City Center,  FL in 1996. She was a dedicated community advocate. Her lifetime achievements and heartfelt community service for the Puerto Rican movement in NY earned her the respect and esteem of those with whom she came in contact. Aída was the recipient of many awards in acknowledgement of her steadfast commitment to community service. For her pioneering, and co-founding work, the Spanish Progress Foundation honored her on September 6, 2003. Among her awards – The NY Governor Mario Cuomo’s Special Certificate, for her twenty-three years of public service in the NY State Department of Labor—Employment Division. Westchester County Executive Andrew P. O’Rourke’s Certificate of Appreciation for her wise guidance as a distinguished member of the Westchester County Hispanic Advisory Board; and Former Yonkers Mayor John D. Spencer’s acknowledgement for Aída’s unique appointment as the first Hispanic female to serve as a Yonkers Human Rights Commissioner. Other awards include the Unity for Service National Exchange Club recognition for cooperation rendered to the Crime Prevention Committee; Distinguished Service Award from the Human Relations Council of Longfellow Junior High School; and the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, Prince of Peace, Catholic Church Award in 1997, in Sun City Center, FL. A devout Catholic, Aida served as volunteer at St. Peter’s Church in Yonkers for many years; Minister of Consolation/Bereavement and Minister of the Eucharist at Prince of Peace Catholic Church; and Reservation-Telephone Chairperson of the East Bay Christian Women’s Club—Sun City Center.  Her funeral mass was Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, followed by interment at the Hillsboro Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home in Brandon. Aída touched the lives of many, was loved by many, helped by many in her later years, and will be remembered by many. A heartfelt thank you to the many–the Rios family.

COWAN, Winifred

Winifred Stuart Cowan was born January 23, 1919, in Edinburgh, Scotland and died at age 91 in Sun City Center, Florida.  Her parents, Robert Robertson Jack and Jessie Stuart Jack came to the United States in 1921 (when Winifred was age 2) on the SS Celtic entering through Ellis Island.  The family settled in Tampa, Florida, where she grew up from age 4.  Winifred graduated Hillsborough High School in 1937.   She worked as a secretary in an insurance office until she married Warrant Officer – 1 Coy Cowan on September 25, 1942, in Boise Idaho, and lived as a typical military wife for the next 21 years.
Col. Coy Cowan retired in 1963 and they settled in Tampa, Florida.  They moved to Freedom Plaza on September 1, 1992.  Winifred’s volunteer work included the Rosa Veldez Settlement House in Tampa and the Palma Ceia United Methodist Church.  Her volunteer work at Freedom Plaza included ROC and the library.
Her canny Scot’s ability to manage money made it possible for Winifred and Coy to participate in the MOBC Scholarship program, sponsoring eleven students to date, as well as providing support to the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home.
Winifred was a member of United Community Church in Sun City Center, Florida.
Memorial Service to be held Friday, September 17, 2010, at 10:00 AM in the Freedom Plaza Auditorium.


Joseph (Joey) Benedict was born on October 16, 1965 and died August 19, 2010. He was the son of Bonnie Walton Benedict and the late Joseph L. Benedict. He is survived by his sister, Bonnie Sharkey; nephew Joshua Sharkey; and niece Emily Sharkey of Morgantown, WV.
At his request, Joey was cremated and his ashes will be scattered at Slippery Rock (PA) State Park.
Memorial services will be held at Carnegie Presbyterian Church, Carnegie, PA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Joey’s name to LifePath Hospice, 908 American Eagle Blvd, Ruskin, FL 33572.