James Benson

James “Jim” Delford Benson of Dallas Center, previously of Marathon, passed away peacefully on Dec. 10, 2017 surrounded by his loved ones.

Jim was born in Albuquerque, N.M. in 1947 and moved to Marathon in 1949. He attended Marathon Community School and graduated from Marathon High School in the class of 1965.

He attended Iowa State University, where he was a part of the men’s choir and a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated with a degree in animal science in 1969 and was united in marriage to Therese (Terry) Lind in Laurens on June 21, 1969.  Jim served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1973 and was stationed in Biloxi, Miss., Norfolk, Va., Panama and Iceland during his tour of duty. During this time, he also became the father of James Jr. and Jennifer, followed later by Melissa and Lucas.

Upon returning home, Jim assumed management of Benson Industries. He worked diligently to maintain a successful farming operation and was a conscientious steward of the land.  The Benson farm was not only a place of work, but also a place of gathering and celebration.  Jim and Terry hosted many joyful gatherings throughout the years that were filled with memories of music, dancing, and laughter. 

In 2013, Jim and Terry moved to Dallas Center to be closer to family and enjoyed following the activities of their children, grandchildren and extended family. Jim also enjoyed spending time with Terry at their cabin in Pillager, Minn., where he spent his time with endless remodeling projects, entertaining family, meeting new friends and passing along his love of fishing to his grandchildren. They also enjoyed traveling the United States and abroad and had an unforgettable trip to Rome with their entire family last year. 

Jim was an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, woodworker, lifelong learner and devoted family man. He was the model for kindness and generosity and opened his home and heart to everyone he encountered. He was the soul of humility, the embodiment of kindness and an example of how to live a life in service to others.

Jim was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Krusenstjerna Benson. He is survived by his wife, Terry Benson; children: Jim (Mindy) of Ames; Jennifer (Dennis) Bussey of Urbandale; Melissa (Tim) Harris of San Antonio, Texas; and Luke (Constie Brown) of Iowa City; and grandchildren: James, Thomas, Joe, Will, Lilli and Graci. He is also survived by his father Delford Benson (Marilyn Givens); sister Kathy (Roy) Leeper; brother Kirk Benson (Lynn Rogers); and a host of dearly loved extended family and friends.

A service and celebration of his life will be held at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waukee on Friday, Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m. A luncheon will follow.

Please consider donating to your local Habitat for Humanity, or as a tribute to Jim and his affinity for nature, plant a tree.

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself,” Thomas Fuller.