This is a picture of my paternal grandmother, Julia Mary Bench Degnan (1914-1981). She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to immigrants Alfred Richard Bench (Birmingham, England) and Margaret Donahue Maher Bench (County Mayo, Ireland). She was their only child and I'm thinking quite a surprise to them. They were both in their 40s and on their second marriages (widow/widower). I'm still searching for children from their first marriages. I have uncovered two from Alfred Bench's line: Howard George Bench (1891 England-1967 MA) and Dorothy V. Bench Cherney (1894 England-1971 WA).
She married Leo Francis Degnan in August 1935 (Cambridge, MA) after her mother passed away in May of that year. She gave birth to three sons (God bless her-I only have two sons out of my three children and am going crazy-LOL). The Degnan family moved to Pawtucket, RI, in between 1940 and 1942 from Cambridge, MA. I only know this because their eldest son, Leo, was born in Cambridge, MA, and my father, second son Richard, was born in Pawtucket, RI.
Julia made the very best peanut butter cookies. I'd kill to have them again! Diabetes finally took her in 1981. I've discovered that this disease has taken most of the Bench family members at early ages throughout history. I think this is a beautiful picture of her.
Colleen at CMJ Office
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