David “Dave” Anthony Benson died peacefully at Villa St. Vincent on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at the age of 82.
David Benson was born in Thief River Falls, MN on July 5, 1939, to Sylvia (Jokela) and Alfred Benson, and grew up near Fourtown, MN. Dave developed a unique empathy and strength due to a childhood bout with polio. To recover, his father gave him barbells to build himself back up. As a teenager, he found his first true love when he started fixing cars under the yard light at his parent’s farm. He graduated from Goodridge High School in 1957.
Dave Benson worked as an Asbestos Worker and was a proud union member of the AFL-CIO Asbestos Workers Local 133 (based in Fargo ND). For several years in the 1970s, he served as Treasurer of his Local. As an Asbestos Worker, his work involved insulating pipes and doing ductwork for over forty years in several states, including MN, ND, SD, IA, MI and WY, as well as Canada. He retired in 2006.
On July 15, 1967, he was united in marriage to Dianne Rogers. David and Dianne first lived in Valley City, ND, and moved to Crookston MN in 1969, where they raised their 2 daughters, Debra and Dawn. Dave and Dianne divorced in 1994, but in later years, regained their friendship and were there for each other in times when it mattered.
On March 18, 1995, Dave married Gayle Peterson in Mentor, MN. Dave and Gayle had met in high school and reconnected later in life. They lived in Crookston, MN, until their divorce in 1998.
Dave had a passion for working on cars and for drag racing. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he had a few different cars that he took around to several different drag strips in the Upper Midwest and Canada. Dave also mentored other people in the art of working on engines.
Dave loved and adored his three grandchildren. He enjoyed watching movies and spending time with them during his visits.
Dave is survived by his daughters Debra Mortenson of New London, MN and Dawn (Andre) Benson-Hance of St. Cloud, MN, his sister Mary Wagar of Valley City, ND, his brother John Benson of Grygla, MN, his sister Bonnie Benson of Valley City, ND, and his grandchildren, Driel, Este and V Mortenson of New London, MN. He was predeceased by his mother, Sylvia (Jokela) Benson, his father, Alfred Benson, and his brother-in-law, Willis Wagar.
Special thanks to the staff of Hospice of the Red River Valley for helping Dave stay in his home as long as he could, and the staff of Villa St. Vincent for their kindness and for taking good care of him the last 11 months.
A memorial service will be planned in the spring of 2022. The Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. Online registry and messages of condolence may be made at www.stenshoelhouske.com