Lillian Joan Beninati


February 16, 1952 - March 24, 2021

Lillian Joan Beninati, 69, passed away on March 24, 2021, after a long tough battle with cancer.

Lillian was born on February 16, 1952, to James and Marie Piano. She was born and raised in Rockville Centre, N.Y. where she graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1970. After high school, she attended clothing design school for a short time. This led to working one of her favorite jobs at Cheap Jeans Company inside the Empire State Building in Manhattan. Growing up on Long Island near the water she enjoyed the sun and longboard surfing.

In 1970, Lillian met and fell in love with Bob Beninati, a young gregarious firefighter who became her best friend and always made her laugh. They were married on September 28, 1974. Together they moved to New Hyde Park and then to Oceanside, N.Y. where they started their family. In July of 1989, they settled in Hot Springs, S.D. where they built a wonderful life, gained lifelong friendships, and enjoyed many good times exploring the Black Hills.

Lillian worked various jobs both in New York and in Hot Springs, but what brought her the most joy, was helping people to learn about the Bible and sharing the good news of Jehovah’s Kingdom. She was baptized in 1976, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and remained faithful down to the end.

Lillian was a supportive and loving wife, mother, and grandmother who always extended herself for her family, having a unique bond with each of them. When her daughters married, she immediately took her sons-in-law in as her own and loved them dearly.

She was a strong woman who despite anything she was going through, always maintained a positive attitude. Lillian genuinely loved being outdoors and traveling, reading cookbooks to get new ideas for food of all kinds and was an adventurous eater, she would taste anything! 

An all around good friend and listener, she could give straightforward advice when needed. Lillian was always smiling in her signature red lipstick, and had a dynamic personality, bringing laughter and joy wherever she was. She was loved and appreciated by so many wonderful friends and a large extended family who will deeply miss her.

Lillian is survived by her husband, Bob of Hot Springs; daughters, Allison and husband Victor Pugh of Philip, and Stefanie and husband Caleb Frausto of Patterson, N.Y.; and granddaughter, Consuelo Pugh of Philip.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Paula.

Per Lillian’s request, a private zoom Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 3, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Lillian’s name or condolences may be sent to: P.O. Box 877, Hot Springs, SD 57747.

Written condolences can be made at

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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