Arlie A. Benike
Location: Pine Island Cemetery
Monday, April 7, 1924
Date of Death:
Friday, March 20, 2020
95 years old
Arlie A. Benike
Arlie Arthur Benike, 95, of Oronoco, recently of Zumbrota, passed away peacefully during Hospice Care at the home of his daughter Mary on Friday evening, March 20, 2020. Arlie’s health had been declining steadily for the last year. His second stroke in January of this year, and recent kidney failure caused his soul to leave a body that could no longer sustain it and pass with joy to our Heavenly Father.
Arlie was born on April 7th, 1924 on his parents’ farm near Potsdam, Minnesota in Olmsted County, Farmington Township to Herbert E. A. Benike and Elsie Bertha Baker. He attended rural schools in both Farmington and Haverhill townships, and then attended Trinity Lutheran School in Rochester. He assisted his parents on the family farms until he was drafted into the Army. He loved to tell the story that he planted 125 acres of barley and grain with 4 horse in the weeks before he entered the army. He reported to Camp Livingston in Alexandria, Louisiana in 1945, trained for combat, but then was assigned to Yokohama Japan in the communications dept before being honorably discharged in 1946.He was proud to be a US Veteran. He then entered a two- year Agricultural program at the Coffman building in Rochester via the GI Bill.
As the story goes, Arlie met his wife Phyllis when he answered the ad that she had placed in the Rochester Post Bulletin for someone to drive her to dance lessons in Minneapolis. They loved to dance and went on many dates to all the ballrooms in the area (Valencia, Pla-Mor, Skyline, The Oaks, Trianon, Terrace, and the Rainbow Ballroom). On September 16, 1952 he married Phyllis Rose Kunz at St. John’s Catholic Church in Rochester. They went on a 1 month honeymoon out West and had a wonderful wedding dance when they returned in October at the Rainbow Ballroom in Eyota (where they were also engaged)hiring the Eddie Reck Polka Band.
Arlie was a gentle and kind soul, never once uttering an unkind word about anyone. He purchased a farm in 1953 by Oronoco and didn’t leave it until he and his wife moved into the Evergreen Independent Sr. Living Apts in Pine Island in 2009. He started with dairy cows and two Percheron horses, and then changed to a beef cattle and crop operation, graduating to a John Deere tractor. They also grew much of the family’s food in a huge garden, and you could find him every night out in the garden hoeing, and then when the bounty came in as it always did, sharing freely with relatives and neighbors. While you were at it, you might as well pick up a dozen eggs. Arlie also worked at the Olmsted County Hwy Dept for 24 years, retiring in 1987.He loved his family,farming,playing cards and celebrating just about anything with his amazing neighbors,walking in the woods, every animal – bird – and kitten,reading the paper every evening, bowling,pitching horse shoes, shooting pool, golfing, and entering any log saw competition whenever he could find one, be it at the Olmsted County Fair or Pine Island Cheese Festival. He excelled at all of these activities and was once the Sr. Bowling Champion of Minnesota for his age group.
Arlie is survived by his children David (Ruth) of Rochester,MN, Daniel (Kim) of Kansas City, KS, Chris (Sandee) of Colorado Springs, CO, Mary Gauthier of Zumbrota, MN, and Kathy (Deick) Bridley of Lake City, MN, five grandchildren Jennifer Benike of Rochester, MN, Ryan of Minneapolis,MN, Danielle (MJ) Jeong of Seoul, South Korea, Michael (Alison) Benike of Kansas City, MO, and Jeffrey Benike of Spokane,WA, one great grandchild Kasey Castrovinci of Rochester, MN, two sister’s-in law Arlene Benike of Mankato, MN and Arlene Juberian of Rochester, MN, five cousins, numerous nieces and nephews, and many wonderful neighbors and friends over the years.
Arlie was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis (2013), his parents Herbert and Elsie, his twin sister Arlene Lehnertz, and his brothers Harold, Archie, and Kenneth. His Grandparents were Albert and Anna (Siem) Benike of Rochester, and Gustavas and Amelia (Guhrt) Baker of Pleasant Grove.
His family would like to thank Evergreen Assisted Living, Pine Haven Rehabilitation, St. Marys Hospital, and the angels at Heartland Hospice for their proficient and compassionate care. There will be a private family service in the Riverpark Chapel at Macken Funeral Home with burial including military honors at the Pine Island Cemetery.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com, or cards may be mailed directly to the family in care of his daughter: Mary Gauthier, 580 Park Ave, Zumbrota, MN 55992.
The family of Arlie A. Benike has received the following condolences.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Arlie when I started at Evergreen in June. He was so sweet and always made me smile. He loved to play bingo and loved listening to the guys at lunch. My heart sank when I found out he passed away. His smile and voice will always be in my heart. God bless Arlie’s family during this heartbreaking time.
I always think of your Father as one of the most gentle souls on earth that I have ever meet. Favorite phrases “geez whez” or “By Golly”. His horse shoe playing or dart playing always on the mark. What an honor growing up with your Family. The kindness and warmth both your parents showered on all of us is heartfelt. We did have a chance to visit your father the last time we were in Pine Island. His spark and interest in life were as strong as ever. Wishing your family the warmth of your parents love to you all now.
Arlie and Phyllis were great members of Teams of Our Lady 38 to 30 years ago. I remember them both fondly, and now sad to hear of Arlie's death. Prayerful sympathies and may they both have light and peace.
Fr. Edward McGrath
The obituary was beautiful. He was a kind and gentle man. Always loved to talk with anyone. Always interested in others. He had a full life with a loving and beautiful family. No one can ask for more than that. Hugs to all your family. Chris and Sandy we are here if you need anything.