Robert Morris “Bob” Benson


Robert Morris “Bob” Benson was born November 25, 1931, in Wannaska, Minnesota to Elmer and Mabel (Torfin) Benson. He spent his childhood on the family farm, attending grades 1-8 at the 44 West (Palmville) school. He attended the Ag High School in Crookston, Minnesota his freshman year, and part of his sophomore year, before returning to the farm in Wannaska. Robert loved hockey, and played at the amateur level from his teens through his mid 20’s. He also coached youth hockey in Wannaska for many years.

On Dec. 6, 1952, he married Ida Marie Eggen in Wannaska. He worked with his father on the family farm until 1958, when he took a job with a road construction crew. In 1962 Robert and Ida Marie put down roots and raised their family in Wanamingo, where he continued to live until 10 days before his death. After 16 years as a heavy equipment/crane operator, Robert launched off on his own, as a concrete contractor: First as Benson Construction, and later incorporating as B&N Construction. From 1969-1986 Robert was a Polaris snowmobile dealer. Following his retirement from construction in 1998, Robert spent 17 years driving motor coach to destinations throughout the United States and Canada. He was always happy to talk about his travels, and to pass out to his riders his “Old Bus Driver” business card that included the saying “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts.”

In 1998 Robert established the Robert Benson Hunting Camp near the farm he grew up on so that his sons and grandchildren for generations to come could enjoy deer hunting as much as he did.

Robert was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church - Aspelund, where he served numerous terms on the Church Board.

Robert served on the Wanamingo City Council for 18 years, and also served a term as Mayor of Wanamingo.

Left to cherish Robert’s memory are his children, Linda (Greg) Pippert of Fullerton, Calif., Jeffrey (Linda) Benson of Wanamingo, Daniel (Janell) Benson of Centennial, Colo., and Jon (Jeannette) Benson of Newark, IL.; grandchildren, Bryce (Katherine), Berent (Janice), Brett (Kristin), Jason, Kyle (McKenzie), Michelle, Kevin (Natalya), Brian (Jenn), Marie, Andrew (Kathryn) and Caleb (Cassie); great-grandchildren, Hartvig, Trisha, Ava, Charlie, Wynn, Grant, Lorelai, Ryder, Trevor, Hannah, Iver, Ella, Greyson, Asher, Josiah, Ryleigh, Arya, Sophie, and Ezra.

Robert was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ida Marie; his parents, Elmer and Mabel; sister, Marie and her husband, Layton Oslund.

Robert passed into eternity at Pine Haven in Pine Island, Minnesota, Sunday, August 20, 2023, at the age of 91 years.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Palmville Cemetery.

Visitation was Thursday, August 31 from 5-7 pm at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Aspelund. Memorial Service was Friday September 1 at 11 am at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Aspelund. Burial was Sunday September 3 at 10 am, Palmville Cemetery, Wannaska, Minnesota.