Bernice Benham

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Bernice M. Benham

Bernice M. Benham

October 23, 1920 – July 1, 2016

 

Benson, Minnesota – Bernice M. Benham, 95, of Benson, died on Friday, July 1, 2016, at Homestead Place North in Benson. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, July 7, at 11:00 am, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 6, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 3:45 pm and a Parish Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m., and for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in St. Francis Catholic Church Cemetery. Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson is in charge of the arrangements.

     Bernice Mary Benham, age 95, was born on October 23, 1920, in rural Danvers, Minnesota, the daughter of Napoleon and Ella (Langsdorf) Fennell. She was baptized at St. Malachy’s Catholic Church in Clontarf and grew up and attended country school in rural Danvers. She graduated from Benson High School in 1938 then worked at Peterson Dairy in the barns and doing housework.

     On June 24, 1946, Bernice was united in marriage to Wesley Benham at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson. This union was blessed with over 50 years of marriage. During the 1940s Bernice worked at Red Owl most of the time as store manager. She was the first woman to be named manager in the District.  As the kids grew older she worked at Wigfield’s during the Christmas Shopping season, then full time at Orscheln’s where she was named the first woman assistant manager in the district. When Walt Grothe decided to open a floral shop in Benson, he approached her about managing it for him, which she did until Wes asked her to retire so they could go south for the winter. Bernice enjoyed making quilts and blessed her grandchildren with embroidered baby quilts as well as quilts for the grandchildren’s graduations and weddings. She enjoyed crafts, gardening and sewing. She volunteered in the St. Francis Mission Guild for twenty five years.  In 1981 they retired and spent 16 winters in Adams Gardens, in Harlingen, Texas. Bernice was called from this life on Friday, July 1, 2016, at Homestead North in Benson.

     She is survived by her children Bonnie (Ray) Smith of Benson, Thomas (LouAnn) Benham of Minneapolis, and Marilyn (Tom) Lee of Benson; 10 grandchildren Tom (Katie) Smith, Justin (Lindsay) Smith, Angela (Dean) Krebs, Mike (Alison) Benham, Samantha Helmin, Nicholas Benham (Special friend Anya Smith), Stefanie Benham, Jon (Heather ) Lee, Ryan Lee, and Brady Lee; 18 Great grandchildren Rachael, Matea, Caleb, Aubrey, Nolan, and Oliver Smith, Lauren, Hunter, and Wyatt Krebs, Emily and Taylor Benham, Amaya and Brenya Helmin, Theron Benham, Hunter, Madison, Devin, and Ethan Lee; a sister Anna Mae Hawley of Alexandria, and a sister in law Lillian Benham of Morris. She was preceded in death by her parents Napoleon and Ella, her husband Wesley in 1996, one son James, and a brother Clarence Fennell. Blessed be her memory.

 

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