Norman S. (Norm) Benson, 98, died peacefully at home on June 25, 2021 surrounded by his children. He was the youngest of three boys (Clarence and Russell) born to C. Fay and Marjorie Buck Benson on August 29, 1922. He was married to L. Earlene Day Benson who predeceased him on January 2, 2016.
A dairy farmer most of his life, he took over the family farm from his father. His son, Douglas Benson, now lives on the family farm. Through Benstead Farm Equipment, Norm installed and sold Patz barn cleaners, silo unloaders and feeding system from 1966 until 1991 when his son Douglas took over the dealership. He was a life-long member of the West Groton Bible Church.
Norm and Earlene loved to travel. The couple traveled the United States with their young children to all the states west of the Mississippi, visiting national parks and other sites. The family traveled to two World’s Fairs (Seattle and New York.) Norm and Earlene also traveled to Hawaii through the Patz dealership. Additionally, they spent a year in England and traveled Europe while Earlene was on sabbatical leave from Lansing Central School. From 1991 to 2011, they were missionaries in Puerto Rico for six to eight months of the year. For the first ten years, they provided room and board for sailors at Roosevelt Roads Naval Base at the Safe Harbor Mission. Then another ten years, they served at the Evangelical School for the Deaf in Luquillo, PR, where Earlene taught English using sign language and Norm took care of the grounds and buildings. In their 90s Norm kept busy cutting wood and Earlene self-published a book, A Journey of a Different World, which was her family history from 1922 through meeting Norm in 1947. For their 50th wedding anniversary, Norm and Earlene traveled through Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours and on their 60th cruised the Panama Canal.
Norm is survived by his children, Frances Wells, Susan Lindberg (Joe), Douglas Benson (Dianne) and Nancy Flood. He is also survived by grandchildren, Jenna Wells Myers, Nathan Wells (Jewellee), Sharon Hancock (Tom), Julianna Cobb (Matt), Cathlene Hibbard (Lucas), Levi (Heather) Benson, Sherry Negley (Tim), Clifford Ostrander (Sara), and 20 great grandchildren. In addition to his wife Earlene and his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers and sisters-inlaw, Clarence and Mary M. Benson, and Russell Benson Sr. and Irene Rose Benson.
The family wishes to thank Steve Chandler for his dedication to their father’s comfort so he could stay in his home and Hospicare for their loving and kind services at the end of their father’s journey. The family also wishes to thank Cheryl Williams and many neighbors and friends who have provided support over the years.
Calling hours will be at the West Groton Bible Church at 854 Cobb Street, Groton, New York, from 4:00 to7:00 pm on Thursday, July 1. The funeral will also be held at the church on Friday, July 2 at 10:00 am followed by a burial and committal service at the West Groton Rural Cemetery on Durfee Road, Groton, NY
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospicare.
Zirbel Funeral Home, 115 Williams St., Groton has care of the arrangements.