BLANCHE OLSON BENSONBlanche Olson Benson, longtime Hermantown resident, passed away on Thursday, Sept.
Blanche Olson Benson, longtime Hermantown resident, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth.
Blanche was born only a few weeks after her parents and brother narrowly escaped the Great Cloquet Fire.
The house that they had newly built, intending to move into with the new baby, burnt to the ground. She grew up in the township of Herman on a milk farm on Okerstrom Road. She was a member of the 4-H club, known for her ice cream demonstration and cow-milking skills. Summers were spent at 4-H camp on Lake Esquagama and preparing her cows for the State Fair. She pitched for the Hermantown softball team, finding an early love of sports that would endure through her life. She played league golf at the Pike Lake Club well into her eighties.
In 1941, she married the love of her life, Robert E. Benson. For the next 35 years, they worked side by side, seven days a week, running their store, Benson Corner, on the Miller Trunk Highway. Together they raised three children. In retirement, they lived at the center of the tight-knit community of their trailer park, full of friends always ready for a cup of coffee and a game of cards. As members of the Wally Byam Travel Club and the Good Sam Travel Trailer Club, they drove their Airstream trailer to Florida in the winter months.
After she lost Bob to leukemia in 1988, she turned her love and energy to caring for her grandchildren. She brought the family together for splendid Sunday dinners, and not just on Sunday nights. Every year, she baked scores of Christmas cookies, from snowballs to Spritz. Her strawberry-rhubarb pie was the perfect balance of bitter and sweet, not unlike the sadness we feel that she has left us and our happiness that she has finally gone home to Bob, after 25 long years apart.
Blanche belonged to Salem Lutheran Church in Hermantown and the Ruth Circle for over fifty years. She was a past worthy Matron of Trinity Chapter 242 Order of the Eastern Star.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert E. Benson; her parents, Peter and Clara Olson, and her brothers, Bernard and Laird, and her husband.
She is survived by her children, Robert Peter (Carol) Benson of Saginaw, Courtney A. "Ben" (Linda) Benson of New Orleans, and Susan (Clayton) Sederberg of Duluth; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
VISITATION: 9 a.m. until the 10 a.m. Funeral Service Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 in Salem Lutheran Church, Hermantown. Burial will be at Sunrise Memorial Park. Arrangements by Sunrise Funeral Home. To leave an online condolence see www.sunrisefuneralhomeandcemetery.com.
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