LOIS IRENE BENSON was the third child of eight children born to Vernon and Josephine (Newell) Hess. Lois was born October 2, 1920 on a farm southwest of Grundy Center, Iowa. In 1928, the family moved to a farm southwest of Pipestone, Minnesota where she was raised and attended country school at District #35 in Sweet Township. She graduated in 1938 from Pipestone High School. At a dance at the Playmor Ballroom, she met a handsome Norwegian, Ivar Benson, and they were married April 14, 1939 at her parents' home. To this union four children were born: Vernon, Gary, Janet, and Steve. In 1956, Ivar and Lois purchased the Allis Chalmers dealership in Pipestone. Together they worked side-by-side with their two sons, selling and repairing farm equipment until 1969. At that time, they returned to farming in Sweet Township and worked together faithfully as they planted and harvested the crops, and tended to the cattle, hogs, and sheep. Theirs was an example of hard work, responsibility, and being there for others in time of need. In April 1989, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with the entire wedding party present. Ivar passed away in 1995, and Lois moved to town where she became the 'grandmother of the neighborhood', who always had a smile, a twinkle of the eye, a good story, cookies, bars, cake or a piece of pie available for the many children who stopped to see her. She later moved to Wausau, Wisconsin in October 2000, and lived there until her death - November 8, 2013.
Lois was a member of First Lutheran Church in Pipestone and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wausau, Wisconsin. She loved to travel, visit family, bake world-famous pies, bars, cookies, and lefse, and craft beautiful creations of hardanger, cross stitching, knitting, and crocheting. Her gardens were always plentiful and she delighted in canning many kinds of fruit and vegetables. She enjoyed writing letters, reading books and newspapers, puzzles, word searches, board games and playing cards with family and friends. She truly embodied the notion of loving others in all she did.
She is lovingly remembered by her children Janet and her husband, Ken, of Storm Lake, Iowa, Steve and his wife, Cheryl of Wausau, Wisconsin, and daughter-in-law, Bonnie Greiner of Hermiston, Oregon. Six grandchildren, Michele (Brent) Remillard, Vancouver, WA; Michael Strouse, Omaha, NB; Teresa (George) Bodiroga, Vancouver, WA; Leslie (Guy) Castanha, Renton, WA; Lizbeth Benson, Philadelphia, PA., and Samuel Benson, Wausau, WI; step-grandchildren Brooke(Josh) Klingbeil, Wausau, WI; Tara (Keith) Crotteau, Wausau, WI: 9 great-grandchildren Jared, Vanessa, and Rebecca ReMillard, Emily and Kaitlin Bodiroga, Claire and Olivia Castanha, Belanna Werner, and Owen Crotteau; two sisters, Dorthea Stratton, Ankeny, IA and Donna (Jim) Hoey, LeMars, IA; and three generations of many nieces and nephews and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, Ivar; two sons, Vernon Ivar and Gary Lee, one great grandson, Spencer Williamson; her parents; three brothers, Wayne, Ralph, and Leo Hess; two sisters, Letha Conrad and Ruth Rogen.