Mary Esther Benson

Our sweet, loveable, huggable, Mary Esther Benson, 57, passed away on Thursday, February 12th, 2015, in her Glenwood Springs home, with beloved family and friends singing and praising Jesus by her side.

Mary, the third child of Duane and Eda Mae McCune, was born on November 11, 1957, in Abilene, Kansas. Mary often told stories about a childhood in Chapman, KS, filled with happy memories involving family vacations, school activities, and a close group of special friends. After high school graduation in 1975, Mary ventured to Seattle, WA, to attend Lutheran Bible Institute. There she met the love of her life, Jim Benson. Mary and Jim graduated from LBI in 1977. After graduation, Mary & Jim married on June 24th, 1978, and they shared their love of life and the Lord as youth directors at First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo, WA. In 1980, Mary and Jim moved to Moorhead, MN, and finished up their Elementary Education degrees at Concordia College. They settled in Larimore, North Dakota, in 1982 with Jim’s first teaching job. For the next six years, they were blessed with three new loves, Jacob, Sarah and Chris.

Ever the adventurous couple, the beautiful Colorado Rockies beckoned, and the Bensons made their way to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Glenwood has been home for twenty-six years. In 1997, Mary began teaching at Sopris Elementary School, where she taught Kindergarten and Second Grade. For 17 years, Mary blessed the lives of her students, their families and her co-workers as well. Her infectious joy, enthusiasm for life, and love for people and the Lord were hallmarks of Mary’s classroom and life.

After meeting Mary it was easy to feel like you’d just met someone very special. Her beautiful brown eyes, radiant smile, and warm hugs will never be forgotten. Her selfless generosity and endless energy were fueled by her profound love for her Savior. Her unique spirit has left a legacy that will live on in all who knew her. Some advice was whispered to her niece and nephew during one of the last days of her precious life, “Love well!” You did Mary Benson, and we will try harder because of you!

Mary is survived by her mother, Eda Mae McCune of Glenwood Springs, husband Jim Benson and children Chris (Melissa) Benson also of Glenwood Springs, Sarah Clayton (Matt) of Rifle, Jacob (Amanda) Benson, and grandsons, Noah, James, and Caleb of Fort Collins, Colorado, her sister Pam (Joe) Rosenberger of Kansas City, Kansas, and brother Darrell (Linda) McCune of Ottawa, Kansas, as well as numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.

The family would like to thank all those who sent cards, made meals, sat with Mary, and prayed for her and our family during this last year.

A service in Mary’s memory will be held at Mountain View Church on Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 11:11 a.m. (Mary’s birth date.) Memorial contributions may be made to Northwestern Colorado Youth for Christ: P.O. 1074 Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.

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