Donald Joseph Benning (Donny, Don, DJ, Dad, Gump) died Thursday, June 12, 2008, at the age of 71, while taking his morning walk at his home in Corsicana, Texas.
The Mass of the Resurrection will take place at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted Saturday, June 21 at 10 a.m. with lunch following at the Blue Note Ballroom.
Don was born on the family dairy farm Feb. 11, 1937, in Browerville, Minn. The oldest of 12 children, he attended school at a “one-room schoolhouse to which he walked a mile through snow uphill both directions.”
He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science degree, majoring in dairy industry, and the dairy industry was where he remained for 45 years. As an intern, he washed test tubes, and finally retired as his girls titled him “The Big Cheese” director of technology and engineering at Mid-America Dairymen corporate headquarters in Springfield, Mo.
Don served in the US Army Reserve based out of Fort Snelling for six years during the 1960s.
“Twinkle Toes” swept his bride, Monica Nosbush, off the Little Falls Ballroom dance floor and took her hand in marriage in 1963. They had four daughters together, and enjoy eight grandchildren and six step-grandchildren.
Don enjoyed singing, reading, dancing, traveling, telling corny jokes, playing cards, Monica’s cooking, and spending time outdoors, playing softball, canoeing, and anything his daughters and grandchildren could do to entertain him. He was a Boy Scout leader and a Big Brother for many years.
Buying roses for his wife, or writing personalized Christmas poems to each of his daughters brought him great happiness. His girls looked forward to the annual canoe adventure trips with dad in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. He never missed a band concert, track or gymnastics meet, dance recital, volleyball match or basketball game, no matter how many hours he had to travel in one evening.
Don and Monica moved to Texas six years ago to be near their children and grandchildren. Wherever they lived, the local Catholic churches welcomed Don and Monica as they were very active and dedicated church and choir members. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Choir of Corsicana, Texas will sure miss the guy who sang bass.
Don always had a smile and an off-the-wall joke for anyone he met. Full of advice (or “lectures,” as they were referred to by his daughters in their teen years), he left this bit of advice for when this time arrived: “If I have any money left, spend it on a great party. Don’t mourn. Party after. Have fun, I’ve had a good life.”
Don was preceded in death by his parents, John and Anna Benning.
He is survived by his wife, Monica Benning of Corsicana, Texas; daughters and sons-in-law Lisa and David Lott of Streetman, Texas, Juanita and Todd Ostendorf of Lakeville, Jennifer and Eddie Ruesewald of Corinth, Texas, and Tanya and Scott Card of Austin, Texas; granddaughters Nicole Steffl of Sleepy Eye, Morgan Ostendorf of Lakeville, and Erica Melendez of Corinth, Texas; grandsons Brian Nold of Denton, Texas, Dylan Lott of Streetman, Texas, Drew Ostendorf, Evan Ostendorf, both of Lakeville, and Mitch Melendez of Corinth, Texas; and six step-grandchildren.
Don is further survived by brothers and sisters-in-law Jim and LaVonne Benning of New Brighton, David and Joanne Benning, Dick Benning, all of Browerville, Bob and Linda Benning of Little Rock, Ark., Fred and Dee Benning of Rochester, Ed and Donna Benning of Avon, and Leo and Laurie Benning of Ham Lake; sisters and brothers-in-law Teresa and Porter Wagner of Browerville, Rita and Jim Pfielsticker of Wabasha, Judy and John Noska of Browerville, and Rosanne and Allen Ploos of Swanville, Minn.; and oodles of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Building Fund, 3000 W. Hwy 22, Corsicana, Texas 75110.
An online guest book is available by going to www.corleyfuneralhome.com and selecting the Don Benning obituary.