Obituary of Amanda May Gonzalez
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Amanda M. (Benchley) Gonzalez, age 41, passed away peacefully at the Toni and Trish house on May 3, 2023. She was born on October 28, 1981 to Janet (Bigham) and Paul Benchley Jr. She was the firstborn child and only daughter.
Her brother, Paul III, was born a year later and they grew up playing, fighting, loving, and terrorizing together. There was never a dull moment in the house. When they were very young, Paul cut one of her pigtails off and Amanda just sat there, stunned. She could only wear her hair in a ponytail for months after that! She became his accomplice and sometimes his tattler, depending on the day.
She was wise beyond her years, often saying things when she was very young like, "Doesn't my brother know how our family works? When dad's hungry we eat and when your cold we put on a sweater" and "Mom, let's talk about life!" She was very good at sending me down that rabbit hole, usually at bedtime after everyone else was sound asleep.
Amanda had beautiful blue eyes that did not go unnoticed by the boys. It started in kindergarten with a particular young boy who absolutely adored her. He called her his " Georgia Peach" and she said he drove her nuts! In her teenage years when the boys would call the house, her dad would answer and say," Amanda? Amanda who? There's no Amanda here!" and hang up. He, in turn, drove her nuts with his antics. Ever protective of his girl!
When she went off to Lansing Community College, she showed up one weekend with a young man in tow. As he drove up the driveway, his car on it's last leg, and with what seemed like everything he owned crammed into it, her father and I just looked at each other. He was wearing a t-shirt that said, "I have issues" written on it and boy, was that an understatement! When he finally left three weeks later, (she went back to college after the first weekend and left him with us), his car was fixed, he was fed and well taken care of. She was funny like that.
Amanda did eventually marry (not to Mr. Issues), and had two boys, Ian and Alejandro (Alex). She loved her boys and being a mother, and said they were her greatest accomplishments.
She did go back to college, this time at Delta, and was trained to be a health unit clerk. After her training, she was hired by McLaren Bay Region as a clerk in the ER, and then on the east side of the 6th floor for eleven years. She enjoyed her job and was good at it. Her quick wit, awesome sense of humor, and impeccable work ethics, endeared her to patients and hospital staff alike. She made many lifelong friends there.
Amanda was sick most of her life, having been diagnosed with diabetes at the tender age of fourteen. As the years went on and the disease began to ravage her body, it eventually affected her kidneys and she needed a transplant. Her cousin, Stephanie Hudgins (Williams) donated one of her kidneys to her in August of 2017. Because of this precious and unselfish act, she was able to spend six more years with her boys. Stephanie, she wanted you to know how much she loved you and will always be eternally grateful.
Amanda had many more health issues besides her kidneys, and they too took a toll on her body. She had a team of doctors, nurses, PAs, CNAs, etc., who lovingly and painstakingly took care of her over the years. She wanted to particularly mention Dr. Gregory Brown, Dr. Sayyid Raza, and Dr. Nicolas Mouawad. She wanted these men to know how much she loved and appreciated their valiant efforts, constantly giving of their time and talents to help her in any way they could.
She also wanted to thank those who cared for her at the Carriage House and the Toni and Trish House, for making her last days with her family comfortable.
Amanda is survived by her parents; her sons, Ian Spellman and Alejandro Gonzales; her brother, Paul (Melissa) Benchley III; her niece and nephew, Reagan and Wyatt Benchley; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. As per her wishes, cremation has taken place, and a private family service has been held. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions to the Toni and Trish House in Auburn www.toniandtrishhouse.org To sign online guestbook, visit www.cremationsocietymidmi.com Arrangements made with the Cremation Society of Mid Michigan.
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