THE BLAINE CO. JOURNAL NEWS-OPINION                  Wednesday, January 05, 2005

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David Benson

    DavId W. Benson, 84, passed away on Friday, December 31, 2004, at his winter home in Quartzite, AZ, following a year-long battle with esophageal’ cancer.

    Dave was born in Juneau, AK on September 12, 1920. He lived in Juneau for six years be­fore moving with his family to Port Angeles. WA. He was raised in the state of Washington for the next ten years. then he struck out on his own as a musician and singer. His professional musical career ended in Kalispell in

1938.

    Without a job and broke, he landed a job as a chore boy on the M-Lazy B ranch near Marian. MT. He spent the next nine years as a cowboy and some of his favorite stories were about his times as a real life cowboy chasing wild horses, herding cattle in the Big Draw, and during the summer months managing an. all-girl Dude Ranch.

    It was while he was working on the ranch that he met Mary Lou Billmayer of Kalispell. They were married in 1946. Dave hand built their log house himself and their first son was born. Then in 1948 he moved his family to Eastern Montana where he began a new career in construction, working for Morris Construction in Chinook.

     After scvcral years he went to work for Zook Bros. Construc­tion in Great Falls. He was a superintendent in charge of building roads in every part of thc state. Following his retire­ment at the age of 62, Dave opened his own business (Dave’s Welding) at his permanent resi­dence in Bigfork. which he oper­ated until his final retirement in

1994.

    Dave and Mary Lou moved to Sunburst and spent their summers in Montana and their winters in Quartzite, AZ. In Arizona Dave would ride 4-wheelers (his modern day replacement for a horse) in the desert and search for gold.

     Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Mary Lou; Sons John (Debbie), Gary (Kathrin) and L.G. (Yanira) Benson all of Houston, TX, and Dave (Jane) Benson of Franktown, CO; daughter Wanda Stanford of Coutts. Alberta. Canada; a sister. Hazel (George) Baker of Hamil­ton. OH; 16 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; plus relatives and friends all across the country.

    He was preceded in death by a grandson, David Benson of Bigfork.

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