Margaret Clarissa (Miller) Bennison

On the evening of January 31, 2019, Margaret Clarissa (Miller) Bennison, 70, of Holliston, passed away with her devoted daughters by her side.

She fought cancer as she lived her life: gracefully, and filled with faith, love and humility.

Born December 3, 1948, “Margi” (or “Mugsie” as her family called her) was the youngest of three daughters born to the late Sydney R. and Ruth R. (Wagner) Miller of Dedham. She was taught to live by the Golden Rule, which helped build the pillars of her character with trustworthiness, responsibility, open-mindedness, respect and compassion.

Margi loved children and being a mother unconditionally. Nothing brought her more happiness and feelings of pride than her three children: Marci, Susan and James. She was not only a mother but a best friend to each of them and a constant source of encouragement, love and understanding. She had an incredible gift of making all children feel celebrated, important and proud of their uniqueness.

Margi opened her home to all and as a result it became a “social hub” for bringing people together. Whether it was a “pajama game day”, or a summer barbecue on the deck, or an impromptu post-Thanksgiving-dinner gathering, Margi was eager to share in the shenanigans, laughter and fun with friends, neighbors, her children and their friends. She loved to listen to music with her girls and sing and dance late into the night. Her Snapchat and Dubsmash videos were epic and they, like her, will continue to provide us with endless joy!

Margi’s great courage and her love of children led her to return to school at the age of 50 and become a teacher. She received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Framingham State College and then a Master of Education in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University.

She found special delight in teaching – especially to young learners. She taught in both the public and private school systems, first at Ashland Preschool, then at Hand-in-Hand Learning Center in Norwood, and the Goddard School in Medfield. From there she went on to support students with special needs at Hopkins Elementary School in Hopkinton and, most recently, at Placentino Elementary School in Holliston. She continued to work through cancer treatments, never complaining, until finally her illness prevented her from doing the job she loved. But in true Margi fashion, she had every hope of cancer remission and returning to her “Placentino Family”.

Perhaps most memorable about Margi was her bright and colorful spirit. She was expressive beyond words, and she never failed to show genuine and wild enthusiasm for even the simplest things in life! Her heart was immense and kindness unmatched. She found beauty everywhere; and she just radiated positivity.

Margi was the perfect listener and a true friend others often turned to for support. She was an artist, writer, musician, mad seamstress, and a fabulous cook. She adored family, dogs, Christmas, Cape Cod, the Beatles and a good burger. She had an extensive collection of anything and everything elephants. With the greenest of thumbs, Margi cultivated gardens as vibrant as her personality. She was beautifully dramatic and always upbeat. Even in her final two weeks of home hospice, while being comforted by her three children and closest friends, Margi “loved everything” right up until the end. She was an exemplary human and role model to all who knew her.

Margi’s path wasn’t always easy, but she always said “yes” to life and to attaining happiness. Finally she found her peace, and we know she is having a marvelous time rejoicing in the heavens!

To Margi: We never imagined you’d leave us so soon. The world will never be as colorful without you in it. We hope you knew how special you were, to so many, and the profound impact you made on us all. Most importantly, we hope you knew how much you were loved. You were a treasure, and your legacy will live on through the hundreds of lives you’ve touched.

Margi leaves behind her three children and a beautiful granddaughter whom, sadly, she never got to meet: Marci Reed of Holliston, Susan Bennison of Framingham and James Bennison, his wife Christina and their newborn baby, Kaley Marie, of Dracut. Other survivors include her two sisters, Marilyn Crocker and husband, Joe, of Wells, Maine, and Jennifer Drozdick, of Lawrence; nephews Michael, Chris, Benjamin and Jonathan; her two ‘adopted’ grandchildren, Wyatt and Piper Doughty; and a countless number of friends, colleagues and former students.

She will be joyously met at the Rainbow Bridge by wagging tails and wet kisses when reunited with her furry four-legged family members: Sally, Murphy Brown, Domino, Paulie, JellyBean, Zoe, Baloo, Lucy and Miss Maudie.

The family would like to offer a very special thank you to the nurses at Metrowest Medical Center’s CVU and to the staff at CareGroup Parmenter Home Care and Hospice for their compassion and exceptional care of Margi and her family in her final weeks of life.

Friends and family are invited to join us in remembering Margi on Saturday, June 1, 2019. A memorial service will be held at Cushing Memorial Chapel, 60 Dudley Road, Framingham, from 3:30–4:30 PM. A celebration of her remarkable life and spirit will follow from 5:00–9:00 PM at La Cantina Italiana Restaurant (upstairs function room), 911 Waverley Street, Framingham.

Memorial contributions for metastatic breast cancer research may be made to METAvivor Research and Support, 1783 Forest Drive, #184, Annapolis, MD 21401, To leave a condolence or share a memory, please click below.


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13 Condolences

  1. Russell DeLuca-Kavanagh on March 20, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    I am in complete tears writing this, but here I go. There were so many times Margi felt like a second mom to me. She was one of my mom’s best friends. Margi was an aunt to me for so long, and yes one of the coolest ones to walk this earth. I loved her so much and wish I could of spent more time with her before she left us. Margi always was so proud of me with all my achievements. She was always there wanting to meet my friends when she visited. She always wanted to hear about a girl I had been seeing and especially how college was going. I never had an actual full time job, but was in college the past 15 years and I am finally graduating with my masters thanks to all the support and family like her. I love You Aunt Marg, forever and will never forget you. I will be thinking of you while I am on stage just two days before your service. Thanks for always being one of my best friends I could ever have; I could have not asked for more of a kind, compassionate, loving, wonderful woman to call Aunty Marg. Kisses and hugs to you up and above I know I will always made you proud and will continue to do so. I love you and I’ll Miss you forever.

  2. Karen wribel on March 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    I am so sorry
    She was a magnificent woman beyond what words can explain and I feel privileged to have known her.
    Rest easy Marg

  3. Sally Dennett on March 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    One of the brightest stars on earth and now in heaven. May your beauty shine down on all the hearts you have touched. Love to Marci, Sue, James and Christina. xxx

  4. Marjie Alonso on March 20, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    This is an absolutely beautiful tribute to your mom, filled with love and hope. She must have been so very proud of you all. What a lucky, loving family. And what terrible grief you are experiencing now, I know. Peace to you all.

  5. Margaret Bennison on March 20, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    So sorry to hear of your moms passing we were Facebook friends because of our names and was fun meeting her. She will remain in your hearts forever ♥️♥️

  6. Jessie Handley on March 21, 2019 at 1:07 am

    I worked with Margi at The Goddard School. She was truly an amazing person. I am not exaggerating in the least when I said that she always put a smile on my face. Her genuine concern for the children and enthusiasm for teaching was extremely admirable. I’ll never forget the time she called me on my cell and left a voicemail, but was not sure if she was doing it right. Her confusion at leaving the voicemail coupled with her contagious laugh cracked me up. She’ll always have a special place in my heart. <3

  7. Carol Sears on March 21, 2019 at 1:48 am

    Dear Marci, Sue and James, Your Mom could light up a room. She was one of the happiest souls I’ve ever known. She always asked how I was doing, and followed up with questions about my kids. She noticed every detail, as in my earrings, or at your Christmas Party she noticed a necklace that belonged to my Mom. I will forever cherish that conversation, because I told her how this Christmas had been especially tough grieving my Mom, and all the while I was worried for her too. Your Mother was such a caring lady, a lady I will hold dear in my heart because she always made me feel good, and honestly, that’s a gift! God bless her, and God bless you all, including Christina and little Kaley Marie. My heart goes out to you. Love, Carol

  8. Michele Roy Brown on March 21, 2019 at 2:22 am

    This is the most beautiful thing that I have ever read. I have so many fold memories of the Bennison family gatherings and will always ‘cherish the love we had.’ I wish you all my deepest condolences; your mom was one of a kind.

  9. Lynette on March 21, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I’ve only met your mother a handful of times, decades ago, but she left an impression. She literally had an unforgettable joy and a smile that was infectious. I consider myself lucky to have met her and wish I had known her more. My deepest condolences. I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing youre brother but it’s clear that your mom lives on in her girls. You both radiate the same love and joy. Sending more your way…

  10. Tricia Bolger on March 21, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Beautifully written and a wonderful tribute to Margi! Her awesome personality lives on through you girls, Marci and Sue!!! Keep smiling for her and let all of the good memories be a comfort to you. xoxoxo

  11. Adrienne Beaver on March 21, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    It has been my great pleasure to work with Margi at Placentino Preschool! I think of her often and miss her smile and friendship everyday. Our preschool classroom was always noisy, vibrant and full of spectacular moments. During our last year together in class Margi and I were joined by our good friend Sangeetha. The three of us were a true dream team! There are so many stories and precious moments I hold dear, particularly during the important business of our class group time…

    It was strictly understood that Margi and Sangeetha were absolutely NOT to laugh or snicker at the goings on at our group time meetings, and especially not to look at me while doing so. Afterall, the teacher must remain calm composed through the lesson!

    Margi was absolutely hopeless! I could never count on a straight face…Sangeetha made it even worse! Often times my noisiest and silliest friends were the two of them. They sang they danced they giggled, they made faces, they fell off their stools…just sayin”

  12. JoAnne on March 23, 2019 at 3:46 am

    This picture you guys picked is absolutely perfect! Your mom’s joy of life just shines in it and makes me smile. She truly was an amazing woman who found joy in the simplest things in life, and she made everyone she met feel valued.
    You kids are her greatest testimonial of a full life! Your words in this obituary and the posts you girls make about your mom are fabulous!
    My love, my tears for you all, and my genuine condolences are sent in this note.
    The earth lost a great person, but heaven received a wonderful soul.

  13. Marc Bernard on April 1, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Marci, Susan, James, And all Margi’s Loved ones/friends/colleagues;
    I remember Margi’s smile and how welcome she always made me feel I’m her home.
    She was so funny and warm.
    I hope you can take comfort in all your wonderful memories of her. She was a spectacular person that made a world a better place and continues to do so through her wonderful children.
    My sincere condolences.

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