Friends and family are paying tribute today to Linda Benanto, wife of former Shelton High School athletic director and Hall of Famer James Benanto, who died Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Griffin Hospital.

Benanto, 72, was the mother of Derby Police Officer Christopher Benanto, of Beacon Falls, and former Derby Alderman Jay Benanto, now of Woodbridge. She is also survived by her sons’ wives, Liz and Pam, respectively.

Born April 18, 1947, in Derby, she was the daughter of Benjamin and Eleanor (Federowicz) Chudoba. Benanto was a graduate of Ansonia High School class of 1965. Five decades ago, she married her high school sweetheart Jim Benanto, who has a storied history with Shelton sports - serving as Shelton High athletic director from 1978 to 2005 as well as starting middle school athletics and added wrestling, boys and girls colleyball, indoor track, golf, hockey and boys swimming at the high school.

Benanto was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Derby and a paraprofessional in the Shelton public school system before her retirement. She loved reading, cooking, spending time with friends and especially her trips to the casino with her husband.

Friends are invited to greet Benanto’s family on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Edward F. Adzima Funeral Home, 253 Elizabeth St., Derby. On Friday, Aug. 23, her funeral procession will leave the parlor at 9:30 a.m. for her Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Mary Church, 212 Elizabeth St., Derby. Burial will follow in Mt. St. Peter Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Griffin Hospital Cancer Center c/o Developmental Fund, 130 Division St., Derby, CT 06418. Online condolences can be left for the family at www.adzimafh.com.