Harold Blake Benson
Harold Benson, age 102, formerly of New Underwood, passed away July 14, 2016, at Hospice of the Hills, Rapid City.
Harold was born in 1913 on his father’s homestead north of Wall. When he was five years old his parents moved to a farm northwest of Owanka. This is where Harold spent the first 30 years of his life. He graduated from Owanka High School and attended Wayne State Teachers College in Wayne, Neb., where he received his teachers certificate. He taught school around the Owanka area and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for several years, while also farming part time.
In 1944, he married Wilma Gunther. Their first home was a rented farm northeast of Owanka. In 1951, he bought a farm east of New Underwood known as the Hayes Place. He farmed here for over 35 years, then he and Wilma retired and moved to Rapid City in 1987.
Harold was always active in the community. He served on the West River Electric Board, was chairman of the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), served on local school boards and was president of Pennington County Farmers Union. Harold was a member of the Minneluzahan Senior Citizen Center and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. He did volunteer work for the Senior Citizen Center and also delivered meals for the Elderly Meals program. At the age of 99 he was given a lifetime membership to the Box Elder Pioneer Senior Citizens Center. He was proud of the fact that at the age of 102 he was chosen as October Citizen of the Month for Rapid City.
Harold liked sports and was an avid baseball fan. He played on several teams and was still playing at the age of 45. He was a big Minnesota Twins fan and spent time watching their games on TV, even at the age of 102. He also liked music and played the violin. In later years he had a hobby of collecting violins and fixing them up.
Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma, in 2012; his sister, Evelyn Brassfield and her husband, Walt; his brother, Arnold and his wife, Marie; and his great-grandson, Jaxon Ochocki.
Grateful for having shared his life are his five children, Kenneth Benson (Doralyn), Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Donna Coyle (Mick), Belle Fourche, Beverly Mooney (Jerry), Wall, Dean Benson, Belle Fourche, and Jean Treloar (Mike), Custer; his grandchildren, Julia Benson, Jess Benson, Mike Coyle, Teri Coyle Ochocki, Cheryl Mooney Nankivel, Christopher Mooney, Heather Treloar Cooper and Kevin Treloar; and his great-grandchildren, Damon and Landon Coyle, Braydon and Kenadi Ochocki, Kady and Kenna Nandivel, Zachary and Carter Cooper.
Funeral services were July 19 at the New Underwood Community Church, with Pastor Wes Wileman officiating. Burial was at the New Underwood Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the Hospice of the Hills or the New Underwood Community Church.
An online guestbook may be signed at the Kirk Funeral Home website.