Arthur Winfield Benson passed away April 12, 2023 in hospice care with his son Thomas and family at his side at Petaluma, California.
Arthur Winfield Benson
December 28, 1933 — April 12, 2023
Arthur was born in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, as the first child of Rev. Stanley Alfred and Edla Margaret Ella-Jeanette Sandberg Benson, where his father served as Pastor of the Covenant Church. He grew up in Yakutat, Alaska, and Kewanee, Illinois.
He graduated from North Park College with an associate’s degree in 1953, from McPherson College with a bachelor’s degree in 1955, and earned master’s degrees in International Relations from Boston University in 1968 and Media Specialist at Central Michigan University in 1972.
Arthur served as a U.S. Army Artillery Meteorologist, stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, 1956-1958. There he met his wife, Erika Ursula Pienitz at the Christian Serviceman’s Club. They were married on Sept. 1, 1958 in Frankfurt and moved to Michigan later that year.
Arthur started his teaching career in Beaverton, Michigan, and their first son Alan was born in 1959. The family relocated to Montague, Michigan, where their second son Thomas was born in 1960. A year later, Arthur was hired by the Defense of Department Education Activity (DODEA) school system and they moved first to Soesterberg, the Netherlands, and then to Wiesbaden, Germany. In 1965, they moved to West Berlin so the boys could attend the new bilingual John F. Kennedy School there, and in 1966, they had their third son, Benjamin.
The family enjoyed traveling and camping across Europe and the U.S., and were active members of the American Church in Berlin. In addition to singing in the church choir, Arthur played to role of Don Quixote in the Berlin Army Theater’s production of “The Man of La Mancha“ and Mr. Cellophane in “Chicago.“
Arthur retired from the Berlin American High School in 1992, and at the turn of the century, they settled in their beloved Red Apple house by Lake Michigan in Manistee, Michigan. From there they chose the Covenant Village in Turlock, California, for their final retirement. His wife Erika died in 2016.
Arthur is survived by their three sons with their respective spouses Alan & Edith, Thomas & Elizabeth, Benjamin & Juliana; brothers David Alfred Benson and Rev. John Stanley Benson, and sister Rebecca Jeanette Benson Cassidy; ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgway, Pennsylvania, Aug. 5, at 11am, followed by his internment at Oakmont Cemetery, Ridgway, Pennsylvania.
Krise Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 130 Center Street, Ridgway, PA 15853 is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be offered to the family at www.krisefuneralhome.com