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Mary C. Benson

August 21, 2021 | 7 comments

Mary C. Benson, 81, of New Albin, IA and Sun City, AZ passed away on August 20, 2021 at Gundersen Medical Center in LaCrosse, WI. Mary was the beloved wife of the late Jim Benson, loving mother to Mary (Byron) Gajewski and Alison Benson (Joe Peterson), and dear grandmother of Danny and Katie Gajewski, and Hannah Peterson.


Born December 29, 1939 to Bernard and Lucille (Troendle) Mauss, Mary was the oldest of their 7 children. After graduating from Upper Iowa University, she moved to Chicago to begin her career at Harcourt Publishing. She married Jim in 1972, and they settled in Elmhurst, IL to raise their daughters. After many years as a homemaker, she returned to work for Hausermann Die & Machine Co., a career that she loved. After retirement, she and Jim built a home in New Albin, and purchased a winter home in Sun City. After Jim’s passing in 2006, Mary continued to travel to Arizona each winter, logging many road miles as she stubbornly insisted on driving cross country.


Mary was an avid reader, and loved to garden, play bridge, and travel. She was a devout Catholic who attended daily Mass and volunteered for the Church. She had an adventurous streak, zip lining and parasailing in her 70’s, and delighted in her daily perfect Bourbon Manhattan and a rowdy game of Mexican train.


Mary is survived by her daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, her dear siblings Patty Wellendorf of Lansing, IA, Larry (Deb) Mauss and Rita Sanchez of La Crosse, WI, Dale/“Frog” (Lori) Mauss of New Albin, IA, and countless cousins, nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Jim, her parents Bernard and Lucille, siblings Doris and David, and brothers-in-law, Charles Berns, Jim Wellendorf, and Jim Sanchez.


Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Joseph’s in New Albin on Monday, August 23 at 11 AM, with visitation beginning at 10  AM. Memorial contributions can be made in her name to the charity of your choice.


Coulee Region Cremation Group of Onalaska, WI is assisting the family. 



  1. Ann Willuweit Rowan

    Beautiful photo & tribute to a wonderful woman who will be dearly missed. Grateful to have known Mrs. Benson for so many years. She was a joy to be around and a great role model for how to live a full and meaningful life. Cheers and Godspeed!

  2. Sandra Gunderson

    What a beautiful picture of Mary. She was such a kind and patient person and always lived a life of being a Catholic woman, wonderful wife and mother. I will so miss my visits with her in Arizona. So much fun and so happy.

    • Lorna Thurman

      Beautiful photo & obituary. RIP Mary. ♥️ A very Special Lady never to be forgotten♥️ Hugs & Love to all ♥️

  3. Marty & Judy Hausermann

    We send you our deepest sympathy. We loved Mary and enjoyed working with her at Hausermann. She was such a wonderful person, and we have so many great memories of our days with her. We pray for God’s comfort for you during this time.

  4. Lorna Thurman

    Beautiful photo & obituary. Love & Hugs to you all. RIP Dear Mary ♥️ Never to be forgotten ♥️

  5. Sharon Wiese

    Will miss the smiling face of Mary when the remnants of her former bridge group gather for cards. She was a great deal of fun, a great friend, and a really good bridge player! Thanks for the memories, peace and love.
    Sharon & Howard Wiese

  6. John Curran

    Lots of love to a fantastic family.


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