Nancy E. Benko, 78, of Port Clinton, departed this life on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, reuniting with Steve, her beloved husband of 50 years, in the next.
Nancy leaves behind their three cherished children, Debra, Beth (James Atkinson), and Steve (Lisa Marie) Benko; as well as three treasured grandchildren, Ethan, Grant, and Teagan.
Born on August 1, 1941 in Cleveland, Nancy grew up in Sandusky, moving to Port Clinton upon her marriage to Steve, where she spent the rest of her life in the loving home that Steve built for her with his own hands.
Nancy was steadfast in her dedication to her children, helping in elementary school classrooms and organizing Christmas pageants, cheering loudly at sporting events, ever-present at band concerts, theatre performances, and poetry readings, supporting all academic endeavors, participating in multiple political campaigns, and even housing thousands of Girl Scout Cookies the year she was the local area cookie chairman.
After her children were grown, Nancy became a data processor for a Toledo law firm, leading the firm’s early digital conversion efforts.
In addition to traveling with her children in retirement, art was Nancy’s lifelong passion. Her love of art began early while a student at Sandusky High School, continuing throughout life as a respected landscape artist and culminating in an exhibition showcasing her decades-long body of work in 2018. Nancy shared her artistic talents with her grandchildren, spending countless hours with them on craft projects of her design, as well as reading books, both during their visits to her Port Clinton residence and at her winter home near them in Madison, Alabama.
Nancy repeatedly battled cancer for over 13 years, never letting the disease define who she was or what she could accomplish. Nancy set an example of such perseverance for her grandchildren by participating with them in the Endless Mile in 2017, in which she earned, and still maintains, the Alabama state record for 76 year-olds in the 12-hour long race.
Nancy was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Sandusky, where she served on the altar guild.
Nancy was preceded by her parents, James and Mary Scott; her loving husband; her brother, Ron Scott; and her sister, Susan Reed.
A celebration of Nancy’s life will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 315 Wayne St., Sandusky, on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 11 AM. Visitation with the family will take place 90 minutes prior to the service (beginning at 9:30 AM). Interment will follow at Catawba Island Cemetery. A reception will be held at St. John Lutheran Church, 207 Adams St., Port Clinton, at the conclusion of the graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Steve G. Benko Family Scholarship Fund (c/o Ottawa County Community Foundation, 306 Madison St., Port Clinton, OH 43452), which awards scholarships to qualifying Port Clinton High School students focusing on careers in industrial or fine arts.
Toft Funeral Home & Crematory, 2001 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, is handling arrangements. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting toftfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to Nancy's family, please visit our floral section.