Memorial services were held for Carol Benke of Dent, Minn., on May 6, at 10 a.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Perham, Minn. with Pastor Dan Abrahams. The hymns were sung by the congregation, accompanied by Dolly Sabbin. Special music was provided by Clint Felkner. A reading was done by Carol's granddaughter, Katie Wiese. The honorary pallbearers were all of Carol's grandchildren. Carol was laid to rest in Immanuel Cemetery, Dent, Minn.
Carol Elaine Benke was born on Sept. 17, 1940, in Stanley, N.D., the daughter of Louis and Stella (Bykonen) Bowker. As a young girl she moved with her family to Dent where she grew up on a farm and attended Pleasant Hill Country School and Perham High School. She was baptized and confirmed in Immanuel Lutheran Church of Dent.
On June 14, 1958, she married Norbert ("Norb") Benke at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dent. The couple made their home on the family farm in Edna Township where they raised their family and farmed full-time. In 1990 Carol and Norb relocated to their home in Dora Township where they have enjoyed their retirement.
Carol was active in Immanuel Lutheran Church Ladies Aid and all aspects of her church. She was a member of the Dent Diggers. She was a chef at many places in the community, played music for the Country Ramblers Band and worked many years at the Perham Hospital and Homes. She volunteered at the nursing home until poor health slowed her activity. She enjoyed spending time with family, friends and especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Caring for little ones has been a large part of her life. Carol will be remembered for her loving smile, twinkling eyes and open arms and heart.
On May 1, 2013, Carol passed away at home in Dent, Minn., at the age of 72.
Survivors include her husband, Norb; sons, Randy (Sheri) of North Mankato, Minn., Scott (Nancy) of Dent, Minn., Kyle of Silverton, Colo., and Marty (Brenda) of Perham, Minn.; one daughter, Wendi (Reid) Olson of Fergus Falls, Minn.; four brothers, Bud, Owen, Myron and Charlie Bowker; three sisters, Beverly Meier, Janice Sonnenberg and Barb Ellingson; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Junice Meyer, Tom Benke, Donna Weegman, Lois Rosentreter and Susan Gerds; 16 grandchildren, Katie, Kelly, Tucker, Derek, Ryan, Josh, Samantha, Chad, Ricky, Brooke, Tyler, Taylor, Becca, Matthew, Jamie and Michael; five great-grandchildren, Caden, Caleb, Emma, Creed and Zachary; along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents and sister, Louise Lukkasson.
Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills, Minn. Tributes may be posted online at karvonenfuneralhome.com.
Blessed be the memory of Carol Elaine Benke.
A sincere thank you to all the family and friends that have supported us in this difficult time, St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Perham, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Dent, Pastor Dan Abrahams and special caregivers Susan Gerds and Samantha Benke.