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Robert "Bob" Benson

Robert H. “Bob” Benson, age 80, long-time resident of Sioux Falls, died Friday, May 22, at Ava’s House in Sioux Falls. Bob was born June 2, 1939 in Peabody Hospital in Webster, S.D., the first child of Francis and Elmira (Baukol) Benson. He grew up in Sturgis, S.D., where his father served as band director at Sturgis High School. Bob was active in Boy Scouts, achieving the organization’s highest honor of Eagle Scout. He was also active in band, choir, and debate. Bob was selected as a Boys State Delegate. In addition, he participated in sports. Bob graduated from Sturgis High School in 1957.

After briefly attending Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Bob transferred to Black Hills State Teachers’ College, where he graduated with a B.A. in History. Following a brief stint as an instructor in a one room school in Wyoming, Bob accepted a position with the Denver Post in classified and display advertising sales. In 1966, Bob resumed his career in education by accepting a position in educational text book sales. During his career, Bob and his family lived in Marshall, MI., Edina, MN., Perry, IA., and Bozeman, MT. Bob was recognized by his employers for consistently attaining and exceeding company sales goals. Bob’s company rewarded him for his achievements with all-expenses paid trips for Bob and his wife, Donna, to Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Bob married the love of his life, Donna, in Sturgis in 1957. Most recently, Bob was employed by the Sioux Falls School District in special education as a job coach. He taught life skills to students with special needs. Bob said he considered working with disadvantaged youth the highlight of his career. Survivors include his wife: Donna (Kroger) Benson, Sioux Falls; a son: Tim, Sioux Falls; a brother: Paul (Pam) Benson, Irving, TX; and a sister: Mary (David) Severeid, Shelton, WA. Bob was preceded in death by his parents: Francis and Elmira; and a son: Scott. 

No services have been scheduled. A celebration of life gathering will take place, at Oslo Cemetery, near Trent, S.D. at a later date. 

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