Margaret Agnes Donnelly Benson
August 9, 1932 - August 10, 2023
Margaret Benson completed her earthly journey and went to be with her Lord the morning of August 10th at her daughter’s home in Fairchild, Wisconsin. She leaves a legacy of love, integrity, faith, and service to her family, church, and community.
Margaret was born at home in Augusta, 91 years ago, to Rev. W.J. Donnelly and his wife Margaret Agnes. She was their seventh and last child, with siblings Gordon, William Edward (Ed), Arthur, Ruth, Davis and Stanley (died in infancy).
Margaret’s childhood was full of family and church activities. Even though she was raised during the Depression, Margaret’s life was rich in love and faith. She never mentioned a lack of anything. As the pastor’s daughter, Margaret was involved in various church activities and often accompanied her father when he did visitation in people’s homes or at the hospital. She developed a love for people, for hospitality, and for evangelism at an early age. Margaret played the piano and had a beautiful singing voice. She was frequently called on to sing solos at weddings and funerals as well as at church. Throughout her life, Margaret was involved at church in a variety of roles and responsibilities. She was a faithful supporter of missions and various Christian organizations.
Margaret graduated as Salutatorian from Augusta High School in 1950. Toward the end of high school, Margaret fell in love with a shy, handsome young farmer from Fairchild, Norman Benson. He attended First Baptist Church and also hired high schoolers to pick strawberries for him in the summer. Family lore has it that Margaret quickly signed on to pick berries! Thus began a love story spanning six decades! They were married June 30, 1951 at the First Baptist Church in Augusta, WI, and enjoyed 54 years of marriage until Norm’s death in November,2005.
Margaret and Norman welcomed four children, Eunice, Arnold (Arnie) and Karen, and Paul. Although Margaret worked full-time as a teacher for over 30 years, she made her family a priority and always asserted that she really just wanted to be good wife and mother, raising children who loved the Lord.
Margaret completed her teaching certificate from UW-EC after she married and she later earned her BA (1966) and MA (1978) degrees in teaching. Margaret’s first teaching job was at Dell’s School, a one-room school near Dell’s Pond. Margaret was next hired at Fairchild School and spent 34 years teaching second grade, retiring in 1994. We’ve often said that she taught everyone in Fairchild to read!
Margaret is predeceased by her husband, parents, brothers, sister, and her son-in-law Horst Bruenjes.
She is survived by her four children Eunice Bruenjes (Fairchild, WI), Arnie Benson (Lora Jean- Belgrade, MT), Karen Bates (Floyd - Damascus, OR), and Paul Benson (Fairchild, WI) Grandchildren Fred Bruenjes (Jen Winter), Monica Theiler (Ryan), Daniel Benson, Andrew Benson (Jessica), Alyssa Benson Bartling (Josh), Caleb Benson, Michael Bates (Katya), Josh Bates, and Emilee Bates Aizawa (Kento). Great-Grandchildren Micaiah, Josiah, and Esmond Benson, William Theiler, and baby boy Bartling (due in September). Numerous nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held Friday, August 18, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta. Memorial donations may be directed to the First Baptist Church.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 19th at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church of Augusta, with a visitation one hour before services.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com