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C. Milo Benson

C. Milo Benson

Carl Milo Benson, 76, of Nome, N.D., in rural Barnes County and formerly of Fargo, died June 22, 2014, seven years after starting treatment for cancer.

Milo was born May 18, 1938, on the family farm near Nome, the fifth of six children of Karl Benson and Lisa (Anderson) Benson. He graduated in 1956 from Nome High School. After a year working as a lineman for the telephone company, he attended North Dakota State University, graduating in 1962 with a degree in mathematics. He married Sandy (Hagen) Benson in 1960; they later were divorced.

Between high school and college graduation Milo went through military basic training twice after joining the U.S. Marines and later navigating a transfer to the Army and NDSU's ROTC program. After graduation he served as a lieutenant in the Army and was stationed for two years in Giessen, West Germany.

Milo returned with his family to the Nome area in 1964, where he took over the family farm and taught math and served as principal for schools in Kathryn and Fingal, N.D. He moved to Vermillion, S.D., and earned a master's degree in mathematics from the University of South Dakota in 1967. He moved to Fargo in 1968 and began a 28-year career teaching math at Fargo South High School. To this day, former students from Kathryn, Fingal, and Fargo say how patient and caring and good a teacher Milo was. Throughout his teaching years, he continued to farm the family homestead near Nome, working side by side with his three sons.

He married Jeanne (Young) Benson in 1989 and retired in 1996, returning to live full time in Nome. Jeanne died in 2000.

Milo enjoyed running, skiing and other outdoor activities and was a gifted mechanic and handyman. In retirement he also invested himself in deepening his relationship with God, spending quiet time reading spiritual books and making several pilgrimages to Kansas City for retreats at Unity Village. He maintained a positive and grateful outlook throughout his long illness, frequently sharing his signature expression: "Life is good." Milo's wit and warmth and joy charmed his nurses and doctors who said they looked forward to his visits.

Milo married Joyce (Heinz) Benson in July 2003. She survives him, along with three sons from his first marriage: Todd Benson (Jenny Solorio) of Union City, CA; Eric Benson (Holly) of Lakewood, CO, and Brett Benson (Karen) of St. Paul, MN. He also is survived by stepchildren: Rick Heinz (Leigh Anne), Kim Heisler (Alex), Wendy Voeller (Shawn), Kelly Macziewski (Chad), Brenda Skarphol (Randy), Karen Trenne (Paul), Joanne Trenne (Jamie) and Judi Young; 24 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; brother, Bob (Mary Ann) of Clancy, MT; sisters, Lorraine Fornes of Kathryn, ND and Judy (Wendell) Kopperud of Jamestown, ND; brother-in-law, Walter Kratz of LaMoure, ND; and sister-in-law, Ruby Terry of Mesa, AZ.

Milo was preceded in death by his wife Jeanne; his brother Earle and his sister Donna Kratz.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM in Waldheim Lutheran Church, Kathryn, ND. Visitation will be in the Oliver-Nathan Funeral Chapel, Valley City on Thursday from 5:00-7:00 PM with a prayer service beginning at 7:00.

Family suggests memorials be given in Milo's name to Roger Maris Cancer Center or Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Oliver-Nathan Funeral Chapel is honored to assist Milo's family with arrangements. An online guestbook is available at