Services will be held Saturday August 24 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Crookston.

Marlys Ann Benson, 79, died Sunday, August 18, 2013, surrounded by some of the people she loved the most and people who truly loved her. Never complaining about the hand she was dealt, Marlys’s strength, dignity and humor shaped a steadfast foundation that everyone could rely on.

Marlys was born in Marshall County on February 14, 1934 to Emil and Henrietta (Talbot) Hageman. She grew up on the family farm and attended country school. On November 1, 1958 Marlys was united in marriage to Arnold Benson in First Lutheran Church of Stephen. Marlys and Arnold first lived in Stephen, later moving to East Grand Forks. They settled in Crookston for 35 years, making their home and raising their family. In the fall of 1997 they moved to Hermantown, MN and began another chapter of their lives, touching yet another community with their pursuit to live life to the fullest.

Through the years, Marlys worked as a Nurse’s Aide, ran the Benson’s Country Store, and was a housemother to many practice teachers and college students. As a Sunday school teacher and Ladies Aide member, Marlys sought to serve her church in any way she could. She also prided herself on being a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Marlys was known for her cards and greetings; she was always thinking about others, and her special messages got those feelings across. She had a passionate love for music, and her kindness extended to her bird friends that sang to her through the living room window. An exceptional baker, prideful Lutefisk-lover and hostess extraordinaire, one never left the Benson house hungry (despite the whole Lutefisk thing). Marlys always had an open door, an abundantly loving heart, and a pot of coffee at the ready. It didn’t take long for mere acquaintances to become friends and friends to become family. Family was always paramount, and sacrificing for others was not given a second thought. Marlys’s determined spirit never failed her, even when her body did, and the lessons she has taught us will forever be our guides.

Celebrating Marlys’s life are her husband of 55 years, Arnold; sister, Jean Laudal; daughters, Tammi (Don) Gustafson and Stacy Benson; granddaughters, Kali and Keeli Gustafson; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends (all of whom she wished to acknowledge). Marlys was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, Carl, Raymond, Floyd, Harold, and an infant; and four sisters, Agnes “Toots”, Mabel, Gladys, and Frances.

          Remember: There is always room for a sip of coffee with those whom you love.

          The funeral service for Marlys Ann Benson will be held at 10:30am, Saturday, August 24, 2013, at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN with The Rev. Bill Reck, officiating. Visitation will be at the church for one hour prior to the service. A graveside service will be held at 2:00pm at the Stephen Cemetery in Stephen, MN. The Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home is assisting with funeral arrangements.