GERTRUDE CHRISTINE BENSON was born on July 19, 1927 to John E. and Margaret Ann (Bresnahan) Bergin in Garretson, SD. She was baptized at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Garretson. She was raised on a farm in Sherman, SD where she learned her strong work ethic. She attended Sherman Country School until junior year and then went to Jasper High School, graduating there in 1945. She attended one year of cosmetology school at the Sioux Falls College of Beauty. While in beauty school she rented a room from a family whose husband was away serving in the military. On September 12, 1949 she was united in marriage to Otis Benson at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, MN. The couple made their home in Jasper where Gert started a career in cosmetology in a business with her sister, Veronica Herrmann. When she and Otis started a family she moved her shop to her own home in Jasper. Gert continued to live in her own home, even after Otis’ death. She retired from hairdressing at the age of 87. Gert died peacefully on Friday, August 28, 2020 in her home at the age of 93 years, 1 month, and 9 days.
Gert was a pillar of the community of Jasper, as well as St. Joseph Catholic Church throughout her life. She was a woman of strong faith and possessed a true love for her family, friends and faithful customers! She was absolutely proud of her Irish heritage and her Catholic Faith! Gert loved being a part of the women’s circle where she volunteered for decades until St. Joseph in Jasper closed. Throughout those years she fried countless chickens for their annual church suppers! One of Gert’s favorite phrases was “heaven on earth” and often teased the grandkids, telling them, “You’re full of blue mud!” And if she‘d heard, seen, or done something many times, she’d done it “eleventy dozen” times.
Gert loved doing hair and would say often how much she missed it these last years. She missed being busy and missed all of the friendly visiting with people each day. Her most prized possession was her children. She loved everything about raising kids and in later years many trips and travels were taken with them. They took her to a Notre Dame Football game where she could be seen on her feet clapping and cheering the entire time! Gert was an avid sports fan – from watching her kids and grandkids to the later years of enjoying the Minnesota Twins and Vikings and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. She was a true fan and will be forever remembered for her true positive spirit and for knowing many of the pro players’ names!
In the town of Jasper, Gert was involved in many ways. She was a judge for the Jasper Goat Races. She enjoyed meeting so many people during her time with the Red Hat Society. She also was a member of the Senior Citizens where she went on several trips, including to ball games and tours of so many wonderful places.
Always a sidekick to the life of the party, Gert could be found with her dear friend, Millie Ahrendt competing and winning many costume contests at Halloween. Many hours were enjoyed playing cards with groups of friends and visiting friends, young and old!
Gert is lovingly remembered by her children, Kristin (Tom) Nelson of Broomfield, CO, Kord (Dana) Benson of O’Neill, NE, Kyle Benson of Austin, TX, Kelly (Bernie) Benson of Willmar, MN, Kerri (Malcolm) Johnston of Elk Point, SD, and Kolin Benson of Marshall, MN; one daughter-in-law, RaVae Benson; 16 grandchildren, (five of which hold her middle name or are named after their Grandma Gertrude Christine), Cody Benson, Jeff Ellefson, Tanna, Troy and Taylor Benson, Laura, Kent Jr., and Steven Benson, Shane Benson, Ryan and Jill Bahn, Jesse DeGrote, Alissa Platt, Jami and Jack Johnston and Jordan Benson; several great-grandchildren; and two siblings, Vernon Bergin of Sioux Falls, SD, and Catherine McCulloch of Sedona, AZ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Otis; three sons, Kevin, Kim, and Kent Benson; and an infant daughter, Kolleen; one son-in-law, Don Stoltenberg; three sisters; three brothers; and special life-long friend, Millie Ahrendt.
Gert's family wishes to encourage all who attend visitation on Wednesday evening to please wear their Minnesota Twins apparel!