Obituary: Birdie Grace Benator
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Birdie Grace Benator, who left us on March 25, 2023, surrounded by love and family.
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Birdie Grace Benator, who left us on March 25, 2023, surrounded by love and family. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she was a pillar of strength and love to all who knew her.
Birdie’s father, Isaac Benveniste, traveled to Atlanta, Ga., from Rhodes in the early 1900s, one of the many shoemakers and earliest members of OrVeShalom. There, he met Birdie’s mother, Rachel Amin, who had arrived from Jerusalem. They created a beautiful home where Birdie was born on Dec. 21, 1925, the first of four daughters.
Their journey took them to Washington D.C., and then across the country to southern California. In 1947, Josiah Benator, Birdie’s childhood tutor and, later, sender of love letters during WWII, invited her to the Veteran’s Banquet in Atlanta. She crossed the country, married her sweetheart, and built her home with Josiah Victor Benator. Over the years, she dedicated her life to her family, raising seven children and becoming the proud grandmother to 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her unwavering love and support for her family were the cornerstones of her life, and her legacy will live on through them.
In addition to her commitment to her family, Birdie was deeply involved in her synagogue, where she served as the Sisterhood president and volunteered in the synagogue giftshop. Her commitment to her faith and community was evident in her decades-long participation in Tuesday baking of burekas and other Sephardic sweets and savories, a cherished OrVeShalom tradition that brought her joy and a remarkable community. She was a lifelong mahjong enthusiast, playing with the same group of loving women for decades and passing her passion along to her children and grandchildren, especially her youngest grandson. She also dedicated herself to volunteer service, receiving the JC Penney Golden Rule Award and was further recognized for her work at her son Isaac’s school, sharing her giant heart with other children with developmental disabilities.
Throughout her life, she was a beacon of love, compassion, and guidance for all who were fortunate enough to know her. Anyone who entered her home knew her warmth, her kindness, and her giant heart. The home she created with her beloved husband became a gathering place for her children, friends, and holidays.
She will be deeply missed by her cherished husband of 75 years, Josiah Victor Benator, her children Rachel Benator and Randy Tillery, Terry and Alan Feldbaum, Isaac Benator, Stella and Jim Port, Debra Benator and Randall Wagner, David and Chris Benator, and Daniel and Naomi Benator, and her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, her three sisters, her eldest son, Victor Benator, and her eldest grandchild, Richard Tillery, who left us just days before she did.
As we mourn the loss of Birdie, we celebrate the incredible 97 years of life she led and the countless memories we shared with her. We are forever grateful for the love, wisdom, and strength she imparted to us all. May she rest in peace, surrounded by the love of those who have gone before her, and may her memory be a blessing to all who know her. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.