News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Marvin Benson, October 26, 1938—August 5, 2021

Marvin Benson passed away peacefully in his Sisters home surrounded by family on August 5. Marvin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up helping in the family milk and grocery business, and lifeguarding on the shores of Lake Michigan.

After graduating from high school, Marvin enlisted and saw many parts of the world through the lens of the U.S. Marine Corps. Shortly after his discharge, he met the love of his life, Trine, a Norwegian nurse working in the hospital at which he was a patient. They were soon married and blessed with two sons, Benny and Sam. The young family moved from the big city of Chicago to Parker, Colorado, for the adventure of building a house and raising their boys on a farm in the country.

Marvin spent a 30-year career as a lithographic pressman. After retiring, Marvin and Trine moved to Sisters in 2008, following their granddaughter, Cammi, whose family moved to Sisters two years earlier. Marvin immediately became involved in the local community. As a lifelong gardener, he built the Sisters Community Garden located at the Sisters Eagle Airport. As a skilled wood craftsman, Marvin was a daily volunteer at the Sisters High School in the woodshop classes.

He developed the unique skill of “painting with wood,” called intarsia art. He passed on this skill by teaching many students as the leader of a 4-H woodworking club, the Sisters Sawdusters.

Marvin also loved to swim early in the morning at Sisters Athletic Club.

To Marvin, all kids have special needs, but some more than others, and for those he always had a soft spot and an uncanny kindness to help. In Colorado, he was an active volunteer at the Praying Hands Ranch, connecting kids and horses as therapy for both mental and physical needs. In Sisters, he set up unique gardening experiences in the Sisters Community Garden for the special-needs kids, who became known as “Marvin’s kids,” and offered one-on-one time in his personal woodshop.

Marvin is deeply missed by his devoted wife of 57 years, Trine Benson; his two sons and daughters-in-law Benny and Julie Benson, and Sam and Anne Benson; two grandchildren, Erick Benson and Cammi Benson; his sisters, Anne, Bobby, and Fran; and his Rhodesian ridgeback, Zoey.

The Benson family wishes to thank Partners in Care, and the Sisters Fire medics for their outstanding help and support. Donations in honor of Marvin can be made to the Sisters School Foundation, Special Needs Program.


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