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Donald Benson

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Sept. 28, 1924-June 7, 2007

Former Mahnomen area resident Donald C. Benson, 82, of Winger, Minn., died on Thursday, June 7, 2007 at the Midway Care Center in Fosston, Minn.

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Donald, the son of Hans and Sara (Christianson) Benson, was born Sept. 28, 1924, near Mahnomen, where he grew up and attended school. He joined the Merchant Marines in 1945. Don was assigned to ship duty and was deployed on ships throughout the world. He also operated tugs and spent countless hours at sea. He truly enjoyed his service duty, particularly in the Far East. Don was also an accomplished boxer, earning Golden Glove medals in 1954 at Madison Square Gardens. That same year, he married Margaret Kellerhuis at Mountain Iron, Minn. They made their home in Mahnomen, where Don was employed in local construction in the area.

Following Margaret's death in 1963, Donald moved to the Twin Cities. While there he worked at a machine shop until 1967, when he again entered the Merchant Marines. He retired in 1982, after faithfully serving his country for over 23 years, with the unusual distinction of being a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Following his military career, Don moved to the Winger area, living there until entering the Midway Care Center in May of this year.

Besides boxing, Don loved to fish, and you could always find him at the "corner office" visiting with his and friends and neighbors.

Surviving Don are his four sons, Gerald (Carole) Benson of Jacksonville, Fla., Larry Benson (Jill Ferganchick) of Blooming-ton, Minn., Brian (Patty) Benson of Apple Valley, Minn., and Jim Benson (Vicki Velari) of Blaine, Minn.; one daughter, Juanita (Shane Hiltz) Tremeer of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; and his long time partner, Myrtle Lee; as well as 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Preceding Don in death were his wife, Margaret; his parents, Hans and Sara Benson; a son, Rodney; as well as six sisters and five brothers.

Funeral services were held Monday, June 11, at the Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home Chapel in Mahnomen, with the Rev. Nathan Baker-Trinity officiating. Serving as pallbearers were his grandchildren: Christina Wagner, Samantha Spivey, Adam Benson, Mitch Benson, Kyle Benson, Blake Benson, Ryan Benson, Jake Benson, Cory Tremeer, Ryan Tremeer, Sheena Tremeer and Ginny Dinkins.

Military honors were provided by Lengby (Minn.) VFW Post 2759. Inurnment took place at First Lutheran Cemetery in Mahnomen. Arrangements were entrusted to Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home of Mahnomen (www.andersonmattson.com).

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