Obituary of Benjamin Gonzalez
WARRENSBURG: We regret to announce the passing of BENJAMIN GONZALEZ APONTE, beloved son, brother, husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who passed away on October 25, 2023 at the age of 88.
Born in 1935 in Naguabo, Puerto Rico to the late Francisco Gonzalez and Nicolasa Aponte, Benny was the oldest of eight children. He moved to the mainland at 17 years old, where he built a long career first as a field worker and then as a chef. He worked proudly in the culinary arts as the head chef at the Sun Spa Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida and later in life, at the Shoreline Restaurant in Lake George.
There are a million words one could use to describe Benny – honest, lovable, generous, charming, cheerful, attentive, funny. A lover of the simple life and a sportsman at heart, he enjoyed spending his time watching baseball (Go Mets!) and boxing, camping, hunting, and fishing with his family, and having a cold beer at the bar with friends. To his family, Benny was also a provider and caretaker. A nurturing man who used his talent as a chef to show love for those around him, especially his partner and wife of several decades, Gloria “Bunny” Gonzalez. Though they often joked that the cartoon The Lockhorns was modeled after them, Bunny and Benny were inseparable soulmates and best friends. They did everything together until her death in 2013, and he remained a loving and devoted husband until the very end.
Benny was full of love, which he shared openly with his family and friends. His sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were his greatest pride, and in his heart until the last moments of his life. The word “step” wasn’t a part of his vocabulary – he loved everyone as his own, and all unconditionally. To his family, he was never “step” either – he was just Papa Benny, who loved well and was well loved.
Benny leaves behind a great many people who will mourn his loss and celebrate his life:
Siblings Sofia, Milagros, Angel Luis, Rosa, Carmen Lydia, and Pedro Gonzalez Aponte of Puerto Rico. Son, Benjamin Gonzalez of Medellin, Colombia. Stepchildren Jillane (Terry) Duell, Thomas (Dawn) Bennett, Heidi (John) Baker, and John Bennett, all of Warrensburg. Grandchildren Jason, Lizette, and Tiffany Gonzalez of Puerto Rico, and Justin Duell, Josh Duell, Shane Baker, and Gloria Bennett of Warrensburg, Thurman, and Lake George, respectively. Great grandchildren Allesandra, Anelys, Ariana, Jarden, Jaslyn, and Julian of Puerto Rico, and Braley, Kellen, Kawliga, Konner, Shane T, And Masyn of Warrensburg, NY. In-laws Arthur and Alice Lemp of New Jersey, and lifelong friends Rolland and Sandra Sawyer, Verna and Herb Springer, Dean and Tami Allmon, and Lorraine Potter.
Friends may call on Benny’s family from 11am – 1pm, Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at Alexander Funeral Home, 3809 Main St., Warrensburg. A memorial service to celebrate Benny’s life will be conducted at 1pm after visitation.
Please visit www.alexanderfh.net for online condolences, guestbook and directions.