Marion Benson

Marion Benson

1943 - 2023

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Obituary of Marion Benson

Marion Benson

(December 25, 1943 - March 3, 2023)


Marion Benson (nee Thompson), daughter of David Matthew Thompson and Augusta Hattie (nee Schweer). Marion was the best Christmas gift her family ever received. She was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Camrose in 1943 and died there 79 years later. The youngest child, Marion was not ruled by the domestic conventions of the time. She was her brother Dale’s constant barefoot companion. She had a carefree (chore-free) childhood trapping gophers, fearlessly riding horses, and swimming in the Battle River. Marion married her childhood sweetheart, Karl Benson, in 1962. They farmed in the Rosalind area and Marion was a full-time grain truck and combine driver during harvest time.

Marion is survived by her husband Karl; children David (Barb), Dan (Lori), and Karla; and grandchildren Erik, Matthew, Sarah, Olivia, Adam, Magnus, and Liam.

Marion had great athletic ability and was highly competitive. She was a fastball pitcher and was recruited to play on the women’s team when she was 12. She continued to play fastball into her 40s and was well-known for playing barefoot. She was a competitive curler and spent much of winter participating in ladies' and mixed team bonspiels. She won many trophies and particularly enjoyed curling with Karl, cousin Reg, and Elly Enright. She was also always ready to play cards and board games. Marion had a deep love for her family and was close with all of her sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Her life was changed when she went on her first international trip to England and South Africa in 1981 with her sister-in-law Margaret and daughter Karla. She dearly loved her South African family and was dreaming of returning there one day with her niece Jennifer and her daughter Emily.

Once her children were launched, Marion and Karl worked as condo caretakers at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna. They made many lifelong friends and skied every afternoon for two years. They then continued moving west to Vancouver Island where they built their own paradise at Cobble Hill. They created a rustic home in the forest complete with an abundant orchard, cats, dogs, chickens, and a rooster. Marion worked for many years as an LPN in the Cowichan Lodge, where she demonstrated her immense capacity for care.

Marion and Karl travelled the breadth and width of Vancouver Island. They backpacked in Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and Holland, meeting up with European cousins along the way. One highlight was a trip to Northern Ireland with Dale and Margaret Thompson in 2004. They travelled to Southern California and Arizona for the past fifteen years basking in the warm climate, bike riding, hiking, and making new friends. They were always accompanied by a faithful dog (Jock, Simba, Murray, Charlie) and a cat (Sage, Cosmo & Jasper). Marion’s greatest joy was for her children and seven grandchildren. She was always available to look after her grandchildren and would drive from BC to Alberta to help out when asked. She provided refuge, endless cups of tea, hundreds of wacky cakes, and could sing a sad prairie song that could lull the most stubborn grandchild to sleep.

Marion was a devoted yoga student and greatly missed not being able to meet her yoga friends from the Valleyview Gym and their DrumRoaster coffee dates. She loved to hike in the lush green trails of the Kingburne Valley of Cobble Hill, take a dip in the Koksilah river, eat handfuls of wild blackberries, hear the flap of a Raven’s wing, marvel in the antics of the hummingbirds, fall asleep to the roar of the tree frogs, and listen to the Vancouver Island rain on the roof.

Marion fought a hard battle against uterine cancer. We will be celebrating her life outdoors on a warm day, footwear optional.

A private service will be held at a later date. 

If family and friends so desire, memorial contributions in Marion's memory may be made to an animal shelter of one's choice, St. Mary's Hospital - Unit 2 Palliative Care, or the Cross Cancer Institute.