In Memory

Mary Lou Bensen

Mary L. Benson

Thursday, February 24, 2022 8:40 PM

Mary Lou Benson, age 70, passed away comfortably Feb. 23, 2022, at Allen Hospital in Waterloo.

Her family was near and had visited her in the days before her passing.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah. Burial will be in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah later in the spring.

Mary was born in Decorah on Oct. 19, 1951. She was the first of three daughters born to Bennie and Mae (Lien) Benson. Mary attended school in Decorah and graduated in 1969. Mary attended beauty school and was employed as a beautician for a short while. She then decided her passion to care for others through nursing. She completed the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program in 1981. Mary worked as nurse aide, medication aide, as well as completing her LPN duties.

She married Darold Ranc in 1970 and they later divorced but co-parented their children successfully. Mary enjoyed cooking and baking, raising plants, Bible studying and exploring her faith, and caring for others. Mary loved furiously and was loyal to the people she cared about and cared for. She was beloved by her patients for her attention to details and her compassion for their preferences and their routines. She would perform the extra tasks to make them feel special and comfortable. Mary also enjoyed and relished in garage sales and had many faithful customers that attended her garage sales a few times a year. Mary would buy, refurbish, and resell children’s clothing and jeans mostly. Mary knew where the thrift shops were in almost every town she visited, and days were spent hunting for bargains.

Mary is survived by her daughter Dawn Fenneman and her husband Christopher, and son Darren Rance and his wife, Heid; her five grandchildren: Mariah, Mallory, Zebadiah, Camren, and Carter; her two sisters, Beverly Kerns of Lawler, and Nancy Benson of Cedar Rapids. She also has many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mary is also survived by her special friend, Dean Klemish, who has cared for and taken care of her very well.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bennie and Mae; one niece, Tina Mae Langreck; and one great nephew, Lance Langreck.