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Funeral services were held for Loretta Benke, 72, of Dent, on May 27 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dent, with Pastor Dan Abrahams officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation and accompanied by Dolly Sabbin. The pallbearers were Rich Benke, Josh Benke, Lyle Diederichs, Arlind Rehbein, Alan Rehbein and Lori Scanlan. Loretta will be laid to rest in Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego

Loretta Opal Batty was born on June 7, 1940 in Carmi, Ill., to John and Opal Marie (Hanks) Batty. Loretta's mother passed away a month after her birth; she was raised by her mother's sister, Veronica.

On Sept. 10, 1999, Loretta was united in marriage to Thomas G. Benke in San Diego. They resided in Bay Park, Calif. They later purchased a motorhome and began to travel to Minnesota and back to California. In 2002 they made their home in Wolf Lake, Minn., and later they moved to rural Dent.

Loretta enjoyed painting and traveling.

Loretta passed away at Sanford Health in Fargo, N.D. on May 23. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Proceeding Loretta in death were her parents, John and Opal; and stepdaughter, Cheryl Ann Caldwell.

Loretta is survived by her loving husband, Thomas G. Benke of Dent; daughters, Joy (Steve) Thompson of Socorro, N.M., Tina Maree Caldwell of Lemon Grove, Calif. and Pepper Lynn Smith of Albuquerque, N.M.; sons, Donald (Yvonne) Soucie of San Antonio and Terry Lee Caldwell of Huntington Beach, Calif.; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Jeanette Davis of Los Alamos, N.M.; many other relatives and a host of friends.

Arrangements were provided by Karvonen Funeral Home, New York Mills. Online tributes may be posted at