Norma Jean Benson
Norma Jean Benson, 85, of Winona, passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Sauer Health Care of Winona, after a short illness. She was born in Canton Township, Fillmore County, MN on January 10, 1933 to Francis Eugene “Gene” Willard Russell and Alphild Lydia Johanna Kvam Russell. She graduated from Canton High School in 1950. Norma was a Miss Winona Pageant contestant. She had worked for Watkins and NECO Ordnance. She married Bernard Arthur Benson on September 14, 1952 in her parent’s home in Fountain, MN. Norma and Bernard lived in Winona and had four sons, David, Richard, Robert, and Michael. After Bernard’s death in 1989, she continued to live in their home until 2011 when, after her son Richard’s death, she moved to The Kensington. Norma was an active member of many women’s circles at Wesley United Methodist Church, cub scout den-mother, Tupperware dealer, family historian and busy member of the Winona Genealogy Roundtable and Winona County Historical Society. Forever in touch with scores of family relatives, Norma always had a new story to share or important family event to record. She loved sharing her afternoon coffee hours with her favorite sisters-in-law at the local hangout and the great bunch of gals at The Kensington.
Norma is preceded in death by her parents; husband; and sons, Sargent First Class, Michael in 2005 and Richard in 2011. She is survived by sons, David (Gena) of Winona and Robert (Michelle) of Rosemount, MN; grandchildren, Brita (Mark) Hayes of Nevada, IA, Marni (Colton) Franzeen of Ankeny, IA, Jason (Laura) of Chaska, MN, Andrew (Amanda) of Woodbury, MN, Bradley (Cheryl) of Lakeville, MN; sister-in-law, Judy Benson of Winona; brother, Gary (Debra) Russell of Rochester, MN; sisters, Lois (Gavin) Grob of Oelwein, IA and Hallie (Alex) Kister of Grantville, GA; and her first great-grandchild, Henry Bernard. As requested, no memorial service is planned. Memorials in her honor can be directed to Wesley United Methodist Church.