Koops Funeral Chapel


Marjorie Ann Benson

July 5, 1928February 14, 2021
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Marjorie (Marge) Ann Benson, 92, of Lake Odessa went to be with Her Lord on February 14, 2021 at the Brenton Rehabilitation Care Center, Grand Rapids. Marjorie was born July 5, 1928 in East Grand Rapids to Carl and Elsie (Weidenfeller) Behnke.

She will be dearly missed by; her children, Marian Durkee, Kathy Othmer, Ken (Carole) Benson, Bruce (Hope) Benson, Mike (Lou) Rice, Pam Shears, Dave (Patti) Benson, Judy (Mike) Rodriguez and Paul (Jessica) Benson. Her g randchildren, Kevin (Amaya) Durkee, Jan (Joey) Jackson, Kyle (Heather) Durkee, Dawn (Andy) Robotham, Rudy (Christin) Othmer, Gail (Bob) Lowry, Shelli (Curt) Sowles, Craig (Amy) Benson, Sara (Aaron) Baylis, Carrie Wagner, Joh Rice, Ian (Avery) Shears, Bobby (Paige) Shears, Nicole (Josh) Sparks, Andrew (Clara) Benson, Tim (Alyson) Rodriguez, Matt (Amanda) Rodriguez, and Courtney (Nick) Manza, Chris (Brooke Portwood) Benson, Cayla (Cam) Simonton, Mya, Emma, Molly and Caleb Benson, 37 Great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren. Brother in law and lifelong friend Martin Johnson. Many nieces and nephews along with grands and greats.

Marge was preceded in death by her first husband William L. Rice and second husband Loyal LeRoy Benson (both loves of her life), her parents, daughter Suzanne DeGier, granddaughter Cynthia DeGier-Sundstrom, siblings Robert Behnke and Marian Elaine Johnson.

The above are facts about Marge as a Daughter/Sister/Wife/Mom/Grandma/Great Grandma, but they Do not tell you about her life.

Marge and her sister Elaine remained best friends throughout their lives. Living in the same town for 50 years. Bowling and playing cards were a couple of activities in which they shared and where she met Roy.

Marge was a loving mom. She and Roy taught the kids what life should be: Simple, Love each other, Respect each other, Never go to bed mad, let your kids be whoever they are but remind them of how they “should” be. Marge (mom) was usually right in the end. She has touched every single one of us in her own special way. She listened and lectured but most importantly loved. She lived her faith and recommended forgiveness, to never use the word hate. She told more than one child or grandchild that “Hate is a strong word. We can dislike something, but we should never hate”. She fought hate in the world with love and patience. She strongly disliked late night swimming in Lake Michigan. But that's a story for another time.

Her house was always clean and tidy. If you stopped by on a Saturday morning, you would have found her cleaning; the smell of chemicals floating with the classical music through the air. Her house was not just a house; it was a home.

The Benson home was where you went for a hug, a kiss and a chat. Windmill cookies, gingersnaps and Lorna Doons were a favorite of the grandkids (and some grand-adults too). You went there when you needed to have a serious talk and/or needed some good advice. Marge’s memory was sharp, even with so many grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great-grandkids. She knew what you were up to and asked how you were doing. If you lived out of state (heck even if you lived twenty miles away) it was her home that was the first place you wanted to visit upon returning. We all felt at home there, loved, appreciated and safe.

Marge hosted card parties, birthdays, weddings and New Year’s Eve events. Her home was the Halloween starting and ending point for at least three generations of kids (hot cocoa served if the weather required it). There were the Family House painting parties that sometimes included disco dancing in the barn. She hosted sleepovers for the grandkids and of course the GIANT BENSON CHRISTMAS PARTY (which we really can’t explain, if you weren't there our words will never be enough, but EPIC is not too big a word). Through all these events, she made delicious meals (Prime rib and Italian casserole has been mentioned by many). Meals were sometimes served at the formal dining room table (teaching some of us table manners) and other times spread out over two rooms (the kitchen counter and the screened in porch). We will remember her for the loving way she cared for her family. Especially for the care of her husband Roy in his later years. Their love story was truly one of a kind and many of us use that example of how we should treat each other.

She was our cheerleader, our friend and our teacher (even sitting at school with some of us). Quite simply she was the heart of our family. We will miss you but every Cardinal we see; will remind us you are always with us.

Visitation will be held at St. Edwards Catholic Church from 5pm until 7:30pm with a Rosary held at 7:30pm on Thursday, February 18, 2021. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Friday, February 19, 2021 at St. Edwards. Burial will take place at Resurrection Cemetery in Wyoming, MI.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, February 18, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, February 19, 2021


Marjorie Ann Benson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debbie Logan

February 21, 2021

I dearly love that woman! So kind and generous. I can honestly say she was Mom to me and every once in awhile that German would show up briefly But in an endearing way. RIP Margie, I know you are having the time of your life. Love Deb

Nanette Biang

February 20, 2021

We Biang girls lived two doors down from the Benson's. Many happy memories were made on Fifth Avenue, in Lake Odessa by many families that had children in our neighborhood! Their dog, Bruno, who kept tract of anyone in their yard would only give out an acknowledgement bark when I'd cut across yards and arrive there. Which showed how often I was over there! Mrs. Benson was calm in "instructing" her children; not yelling or reprimanding them with any scorn. "Redirecting" us when we weren't supposed to be playing Alligator down the stairs inside! We a played all over our neighborhood but mostly "outside". Returning to Lake Odessa after many years, I was delighted to be invited over for coffee by Marge and we had some good conversations on those visits! It was lovely getting to know Marge more personally. I was happy that I could use my skill as a seamstress to do some clothing alterations as well as some curtains for her. And I am glad that Judy likes them as well. We knew the family almost as "cousins"! Good will and good times were had. While on hunting trips, LeRoy and sons visiting my Mom's tavern way up north kept our families somewhat in touch after we'd left Lake O! All were very respectful in their family. And Marge, an Angel on Earth.

Cindy Boyce

February 18, 2021

I met this beautiful lady many years ago...I remember thinking what a kind, loving and sweet lady she was. I remember the stories told to me by her daughter, Pam, about family get togethers and the infamous house painting parties. A big family that is so blessed to have each other. May she rest in peace and may your memories bring you comfort

Terri Slade

February 17, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was so sweet. She was the ultimate model of what a perfect mom should be. Hugs and prayers to you all during this sad time. (Love the beautiful picture of her too.)

Sue Boyce Huffman

February 17, 2021

So many memories at the Benson house. Doll house. Hamsters or Gerbils. Your mom & dad welcoming me in for dinners & many hours of play. Your mom was always smiling & happy. Praying for the whole family at a difficult time.

Ken Cote

February 17, 2021

RIP to a wonderful lady who I am happy I got to meet many years ago. Heaven gained an angel.

Bill and Kathi Rettler

February 16, 2021

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Marge she was a wonderful woman who loved her family very much! Keep her memory alive through all those amazing memories you all have with her! She will truly be missed!
May the Lord wrap his arms around each one of you family members! God Bless you all!
Much Love!
Bill and Kathi Rettler

Deb Halfmann (Carr)

February 16, 2021

Here’s a hug Judy for you , Mike and the boys. Prayers are raised while you go through this difficult time. Please know I’ll be thinking of you

Delores Hazel

February 16, 2021

So many memories of Marge. Working Lions club dinners, bazaars, and luncheons at church. Our knitting projects also. Marge was. Special lady 🙏

Marlene Behnke

February 16, 2021

We just have such fond memories of Aunt Marg and Uncle Roy. We would come to visit from Fort Wayne, Indiana and they always had us stay with them. They always made us feel so welcome and comfortable. We had some very nice times with them. Aunt Marg was such a lovely, gentle woman and we sure will miss her sweet smile.
Love to all,
Dave and Marlene Behnke and family.