Thoralf Benson passed away Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at Edgewood Assisted Living in Sartell, MN at the age of 97.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 10:30 AM at Bergen Lutheran Church in rural Granite Falls.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Thoralf Benjamin Benson was born April 8, 1922 in Stony Run Township of Yellow Medicine County Minnesota to the parents of Thomas and Bertina (Eide) Benson. He was born second youngest of 12 children. He was baptized and confirmed at Bergen Lutheran Church (rural Granite Falls). He attended Country School until eighth grade. Grades nine and ten were completed in Montevideo. Grades eleven and twelve were completed in Granite Falls, where he participated in choir and football. Thoralf farmed with his brother Oliver just three miles southeast of Boyd. On August 7, 1976 he was united in marriage to Myrtle (Hanson) Riley immediately adding Myrtle's seven children to his family. Thoralf and Myrtle spent thirty five years together. They traveled the United States celebrating their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They were fortunate to travel to Asia, the Holy Land; and to California in the winter months for three years doing mission work at Gleanings for the Hungry.
Thoralf served silently and generously in many ways throughout his life. He was an active member of Bergen Lutheran Church as well as he liked to help by building items for Myrtle, her students, and their classroom. He enjoyed gardening (fruits, vegetables and flowers) and laboriously picked bucket after bucket of raspberries and strawberries for many to enjoy!
His last years were spent in Sartell, MN close to daughter Colleen and her family where Thoralf continued to enrich many more lives in his new community.
He is survived by children: Allen Riley of Sioux Falls, SD, Keith Riley (Rina Nieva) of Newport Beach, CA, Paul Riley (Teri Mullin) of Sioux Falls, SD, Ramona (Riley) Shegda (Chuck Shegda) of Orlando, FL, Michael Riley (Angela Riley) Gilbert, AZ, Colleen (Riley) Walerius (Jeff Walerius) of Big Lake, MN, 20 Grandchildren and 32 Great grandchildren.
Preceded in death by his wife, Myrtle Benson, and daughter, Marjo (Riley) Ross.