MICHELLE LYNN BENCHEK (nee Columbo) age 43, loving mother of Jessica and Hailey and forever companion of Michael Benchek; cherished daughter of Cindy (nee Smith) and Fred DiTomaso and the late Michael Columbo; adored daughter-in-law of Joan Benchek; dear granddaughter of Barbara Wercion; dearest sister of Kim Columbo, Natalie Lafferty (husband Patrick), Anthony DiTomaso (wife Rachel) and Frank DiTomaso (wife Leeann); treasured friend of Cindy Moyle; dear niece, aunt, cousin, and friend of many. Survived by her feline companions Pretty Girl and Mister.
Michelle entered the world on November 28, 1979, and left it peacefully surrounded by her family and Love on February 14, 2023. She lived life with a smile on her face and with a sweet soul that focused on finding joy in everything she did. She grew up in Highland Heights and graduated from Mayfield High School in 1998. Her kindness, patience and natural ability to help others led Michelle to pursue nursing at Lakeland Community College resulting in her career as an RN at Hillcrest Hospital. While her dedication and compassion as a caregiver and beloved colleague was regularly on display, she had no greater joy than the Love she had for her two girls, Jessica and Hailey, whom she raised with their father Michael Benchek in both Chardon and Willoughby Hills.
She loved being active as a hiker, a runner, a mother of cats, and a general bad ass, and she would face the world in the same manner in which she would encourage her girls to, as a free spirit taking in the experiences the world has for her as they come, while laughing and dancing the entire time. She Loved music and she would revel in live music, dancing her way to the front row at any and every opportunity. Her serenity and calm led her to Love and practice yoga. Michelle Loved and lived life fully, and if you knew her for years or for even a minute, you Loved her.
She was happy, social, non-judgmental and a friend in an instant, and then for a lifetime. She was, and is, 32 flavors and then some. Michelle will be remembered most as a woman, a warrior, a devoted daughter and a mother with undying Love for her two girls. She’s dancing now as she did in life, as if no one is watching and as if everyone is watching, either way without a care. She will be forever Loved and forever missed.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Michelle to her Treasured Memories Fund that will be used for her daughters’ education. Cremation by DeJohn Crematory. Celebration of Life Service Sunday February 19, 2023 at 4:30PM at THE FUNERAL HOME. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Michelle at THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS, 28890 CHARDON ROAD (between Bishop Rd. and Rt. 91) SUNDAY 12-4:30PM.
Donate to Michelle’s Treasured Memories Fund Here
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Paul Maynard d (MIS)
Very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you during this hard time.
Michelle was a beautiful person inside and out, an exceptional nurse and above all a kind and compassionate spirit. God needed an Angel and she answered the call. She touched so many lives and hearts. May her memory be for a blessing. Sending love and prayers for her family.
My beautiful friend I’m so happily I had the pleasure of working with you and became friends. Your beautiful smile you lit up the room.
Fly high our beautiful Angel.
Till we met again.
Nicholas Santa Maria
I held her as a baby. My deepest condolences.
If someone asked me who the sweetest, kindest person I ever knew was, your name would be the first to come to mind. You were a very kind and special person and I will always remember you. Sending love to her family and friends and especially her two amazing daughters.
Michelle was such a light in everyone’s life and such a kind soul, beautiful inside and on the outside. She was one of the nicest nurses I have ever had the privilege to work with and we always made sure to have a good time laughing whenever we saw each other at work. Heaven received an Angel and I will miss her dearly. My prayers to her family and children. We love you, Michelle.
Fred and Cindy, I cannot imagine the pain you feel and pray that you eventually find comfort in knowing she is safe, with Jesus and you WILL see her again one day.
Michelle you shined bright on earth, I know you are a beautiful Angel. You will be so missed and never forgotten.
My condolences to her family and friends. What a beautifully written obituary that completely described our beloved Michelle. I am heartbroken by her loss and feel most saddened for Jessica and Hailey. My thought and prayers are with you all now and always.
So sorry for your loss my entire family has such fond memories of Michelle.
Praying for the Columbo/Benchek family…Michelle was and will continue to be an Angel. I will miss you Michelle.
I am so sorry to hear this news. My deepest sympathies to you and all of your family. Sending loving thoughts and prayers.
Tom and Dee Welch
Cindy and Fred – Tom and I are praying for you and the entire family during this time of grief. May the great memories of her, sustain you during this most difficult time.
Peace in knowing she has no more pain. Tom and Dolores Welch ( Mike’s F sister)
I will always remember Michelle as a shining light. She was the sweetest, cutest, kindest little girl. I have wonderful memories of spending time with her and the entire Columbo family as a child. May you all find peace in her memory and legacy.
Ebony M. Butler
My condolences to your family. Your beautiful spirit, laugh, and kindness will truly be missed; rest peacefully
Fred, I was very distressed upon hearing of the death of someone so close to you. Our prayers will follow you wherever you are.
So very sorry for your loss. Michelle was a very kind soul and an amazing nurse. She touched so many lives and I was blessed to work with her. Praying for peace for your family in this grieving time. Fly high sweet angel Michelle. You have definitely earned you wings. ❤️
I’m so very sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.
Fred and Cindy,
I am so sorry for your loss, may god give you peace and strength during this difficult time.
Cindy and Fred,
My deepest Sympathies to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
May Michelle Rest In Peace.
I’m so sorry for the family and I’m really glad I got to meet her and be able to share a moment with her . My orayers and condolences are with the family .
I am deeply saddened for you family. Michelle took care of my sister last summer who had cancer, and she was so bubbly and friendly to my family. I also work at Hillcrest where she worked. Her beautiful smile and eyes will always be in my mind. God be with your family and comfort you, she is in Heaven with my sister Mary now.
I’m so very sorry for your loss. May her memory be eternal. Many prayers ❤️
My heart goes out to the entire family and people in Michelle’s circle. I am so heartbroken to hear of Michelle’s passing. She was without a doubt one of the rare lights in this world. Always kind and warm hearted. She will be missed as I’m certain she was deeply loved. Fly high sister, RIP beautiful soul.
I had the joy of working with Michelle at Hillcrest years ago. She truly made working joyful. She emanated love for those around her. She is beautiful, caring, compassionate, and always smiling. She was light. Sending love to family and friends. She was a gift.
Michelle’s energy, laughter, kindness, support, her quiet listening, calm presence and so much more all came from love. She embodied love’s intangible warmth and light then shared it with all of us. She is the definition of love. She helped calm my nerves hundreds of times when I work with her as a new nurse. She never balked at my questions and was always close by if I needed her help or advice. Her memory is already a blessing to so many and I know she is in the hearts of so many more. My deepest wishes for healing and some peace for all who are mourning her loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
My Deepest Condolences To Everyone. Michelle will be missed by anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her. She definitely lite up a room with her Smile and her acts of Kindness.
Michelle was an amazing nurse and a beautiful person inside and out. She touched so many lives and hearts. My deepest condolences to the family.
Lost for words – What a beautiful life gone way to soon — I will remember your smile and laugh forever – We May have not seen each other for a long time but I loved following your beautiful journey over the years with your adventures and daughters !! Fly high beautiful Angel !! You will be missed
Chris and Kate Biddle
Words cannot express how sorry we are for the loss of your beautiful daughter. The light she brought to you and all she touched will surely be in your hearts forever. We are holding you in our thoughts and prayer.
I am sending condolences to Michelle’s family. She was a very compassionate and caring nurse who took wonderful care of her patients. She was always kind and with a beautiful smile. Your kindness will be missed.
My thoughts and prayers with everyone that knew Michelle. Condolences to her family and friends. RIP
I will miss Michelle immensely. I worked with her a few times at Lake West Hosp. She was one of the most caring and compassionate people I had the privilege to know. Fly high in Heaven Michelle. You will always find Love in your heart.❤️
To Family and friends, we share thoughts, prayers and fond family memories for the time she grew up with us. We will always love Michelle and pray about her and for all of you.