Berniece Hazel Benson, age 87, of Crosby, and formerly of rural Columbus, passed away on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, at Trinity Hospital in Minot.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbus, with Pastor Ethyl Mae Nelson officiating. Burial will follow at Bethany Lutheran Cemetery, south of Columbus. Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 5, at Stakston-Martin Funeral Home in Crosby and from 6 to 7 p.m., on Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbus, and also Monday, one hour before the service, at the church.
Berniece was born Aug. 29, 1926, to Martin and Emelia (Myre) Bjergaard, on their farm in Garness Township, near Powers Lake, N.D. She grew up and worked on her parents' farm and attended a country school through eighth grade. From the age of 13 and on, she worked at different jobs in the area such as housekeeping, childcare, and cooking. The jobs ranged from rural Powers Lake to Bowbells to Lunds Valley to Columbus. While in Lunds Valley, she helped at the store there and also pumped gas and was a telephone operator. She worked at a grocery/dry goods store and a cafe in Columbus. Her two sisters, Anna and Myrtle, rented the cafe in Columbus for about a year, and Berniece and her sister, Beulah, worked for them.
It was while working in the cafe that she met Arthur Benson. On Dec. 13, 1945, Art and Berniece were married in Plentywood, Mont. They lived on a farm south of Columbus and raised their four children there. Together, they grew small grains, hay, and raised cattle. Art passed away on May 1, 1994. Berniece continued to make her home on the family farm.
She married Norval Gochanour from Columbus on July 15, 2000, and they lived on the farm for five years, where they enjoyed raising miniature horses, before Norval passed away on Aug. 2, 2005. In January 2013, she moved to the Northern Lights Villa in Crosby and resided there until the time of her death. She had lived on the family farm for 67 years.
Berniece had a great love for God, her family, other people, and life. She loved to sew, quilt, help out where needed, and take part in church and other community activities. She was an excellent cook and baker and used these skills often with her gift of hospitality. Her wonderful sense of humor, enthusiasm, and energy carried over into all aspects of her life.
Berniece was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Arthur; her husband, Norval, five brothers, Clarence, John, Melfred, Milton, and Magnus; three sisters, Esther Beaton, Anna Anderson, and Beulah (Houston) Goebel; and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
She is survived by: four children, Elizabeth (Robert) Casteel, of Larson; Barbara (Kerry) Strom, Columbus; Arthur (Pat) Benson, Bismarck; Linda (Jim) Kimball, Noonan; nine grandchildren, Robert (Diane) Casteel, Richard (Deb) Casteel, Tasha (Erik) Jacobson, Leif (Sarah) Strom, Mitchell Strom, Erik Benson, Tara (Joe) Wateland, Landon Kimball, Jordan Kimball; and seven great-grandchildren, Amy and Alex Casteel, Riley and Reagan Casteel, Mya and Mattie Jacobson, and Jonas Strom; one sister, Myrtle Anderson, Minot; two sisters-in-law, Betty (Bjergaard) Marek, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Mary Bjergaard, Flaxton; and brother-in-law, Herb Goebel, Burlington;and numerous nieces and nephews.
Stakston-Martin Funeral Home of Crosby is in charge of arrangements.