Bennie Cornelius Groen, age 81, was born March 17, 1937, in Renville County, MN, to Cornelius & Fanny (Ryks) Groen. Bennie grew up on the family farm, attending country school & later graduated from Renville High School, Class of 1955.
Bennie's first job was at VSC where he met Sondra Aeikens. On August 1, 1958, Bennie married Sondra at the Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City. The couple made their home in Clara City & were blessed with six children, Diane, Glenda, Sheila, Jeanine, Kevin and Jason.
Bennie was a rural mail carrier for many years, sold snowmobiles for a time & helped out some local farmers. He was a faithful member of Bethany Reformed Church & served as a deacon & elder as well as other areas.
Family was the most important thing to Bennie. He loved the outdoors, deer hunting, feeding the birds & many memories were made at their cabin on Lake Florida around a campfire. Bennie always had time for others & would go out of his way to visit.
Bennie is survived by his wife, Sondra; children, Diane (Curt) Meints of New London, Glenda (Mike) Abraham of Maynard, Sheila (Elmer) Thompson of Ortonville, Jeanine (Rod) Tebben of Alexandria, Kevin (LeAnn) Groen of Clara City, Jason Groen of Clara City; grandchildren, Jamie (Jeff) Fernholz, Jenny (Clint) Schwitters, Ryan (Nicole) Meints, Cody Abraham (special friend, Brooke Luepke), Dylan Abraham, Shane Thompson (special friend, Taylor Dobbs), RaeAnn Thompson (fianc, Levi Lupkes), Riley Thompson (special friend, Jamie Gulley), Kayla (Nick) Niemann, Mitch Tebben (fiance, Chelsea St. Marie), Amber (Anthony) Lipetzky, Craig Groen, Levi Groen, Kali Groen (special friend, Ross Bjerkeset); great grandchildren, Kenzie, Brooklyn, Jayce, Kaley, Kelsey, Connor, Caden, Logan, Hunter, Peyton, Benten; sister, Donna Hillenbrand of Willmar; brothers, John B. "Bud" (Joan) Groen of Lake Lillian, Harold (Norma) Groen of Renville, Jerry (Lynnetta) Groen of Spicer, Cornie (Jolene) Groen of Renville; beloved canine child, Mitzi.
Bennie is preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius & Fanny Groen; sister, Connie Groen; father & mother-in-law, Dick & Mabel Aeikens; brother-in-law, LuVerne Hillenbrand; sister & brother-in-law, Wanda (Arthur) Larson.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 15, at Bethany Reformed Church in Clara City. Visitation will be one hour prior. Burial will be in the church cemetery.