William Benson


William H. Benson, 81, of Kandiyohi, died Wednesday, February 10th at his home. His public visitation will be from 3-5:00 pm, Sunday, February 21st at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar. A private service will be on Monday, February 22nd at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Kandiyohi. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

William Harvey Benson was born September 4, 1939 (on Labor Day), to Harvey Andrew and Ellen Christine (Juul) Benson in Paxton Township. Bill was baptized and later confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church near Morgan. He grew up on the family farm in rural Morgan, where he attended country school prior to graduating from Morgan High School in 1956. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1960, and he earned his Master’s degree in Physics at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1964.

On June 16, 1962, William was united in marriage to Carol Louise Hansen at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Moorhead. They lived in Buffalo, NY, until 1964, and moved to Mankato, MN, where Bill taught in the Physics Department at Mankato State University. In 1968, he joined the faculty at Willmar Junior College (Ridgewater College), and in 1969, they moved to their farm near Kandiyohi.

Bill was a physicist and farmer. He enjoyed teaching physics and engineering at Ridgewater College, where he taught until he retired in 2004. He also ran the family farm, producing beef, dairy, and crops. Bill also had a passion for music; he played a range of instruments and performed in the local symphonic orchestra and in the community band. As a long-time member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Kandiyohi, he was on the church council, sang in the choir, and instrumentally accompanied hymns. Bill was proud of his Danish heritage, traveling with Carol to the Danebod Folk School in Tyler, MN, where he was also instrumental in forming a band. When able, they enjoyed traveling to see family in Michigan and the United Kingdom. Playing horseshoe was a passion from childhood, and Bill was a long-time member and captain of Willmar’s traveling team. He was a loving husband, father, grandpa and friend.

Bill is survived by his wife, Carol; children: Peter (and Cheryl) Benson of Sartell, John (and Jill) Benson of Willmar, Daniel (and Sarah Rowe) Benson of St. Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, UK, and Andrew Benson of New London; grandchildren: Samuel (Mariah Peterson), Paul (Tiff), Gabriel, Sydney, Blake, and Paige Benson, Katherine and Elizabeth Benson-Rowe.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Betty Jane Kleinschmidt.

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