The name Sheila Beneski may not ring a bell, but if you were a coach, a referee or a fan working or attending a big-time game on a given night, chances are you knew who Sheila Beneski was.
Beneski, who died last Friday at age 76, and her husband Frank of West Suffield would regularly attend a boys basketball game almost every evening, no matter how long the trip. The couple regularly attended around 125 games per season. That didn’t include either the freshman or junior varsity games that preceded the varsity game.
That’s because the Beneskis regularly were at the school early enough to sit front row, center court, normally opposite the team’s benches. And they regularly were visited before each game by the coaches, the referees, the fans and the media alike.
The 2020 CIAC boys and girls basketball tournaments will be dedicated to the Beneskis.
Sheila Beneski, known in circles as “The First Lady of Connecticut High School Basketball,” also helped found and develop the Suffield Athletic Hall of Fame.
Funeral services will be held Friday at The Heritage Funeral Home in West Suffield at 9 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church in Suffield at 10 a.m. Friends may call at The Heritage Funeral Home, located at 1240 Mountain Road in West Suffield, on Thursday between 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.
Visit SuffieldFuneralHome.com for more information.