Bernard ‘Benny’ Elmer Clarence Blaness, age 94, of Northfield, formerly of French Lake, passed away Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, at the Northfield Hospital.
He was born Feb. 25, 1920, in French Lake Township, the son of John and Guro (Skumsnes) Blaness.
Benny was raised on the family farm, attended Lake Francis School through eighth grade, and graduated from Cokato High School in 1937.
His father, the Rev. John Blaness, was pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church of French Lake from 1916 to 1968.
In the early 1940s, Benny began working for Stacy Distributing as a produce salesman to grocery stores and schools in southern Minnesota.
While in Northfield, he met Beverly Jean Norbeck. They were married May 18, 1952, and made their home in Northfield.
Benny later worked for Town and Country Office Supply in Northfield.
A devoted member of the Northfield Cannon Valley Lions Club, Benny served his community for more than 60 years. He loved St. John’s Lutheran Church, where he faithfully ushered and worshipped his Lord.
Benny always had a twinkle in his eye and a warm smile. Many were touched by his gentle heart and positive spirit.
In retirement, he and Bev spent 16 winters in Arizona, traveled to Tahiti, Hawaii, Norway, and England, and enjoyed cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean.
Benny is survived by his “daughter,” niece Sande Rud of Minnetrista and her family; and other nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Beverly in 2010; brothers Olaf (Dorothy) Blaness, and Gerhard (Mabel) Blaness; and sisters Beatrice (Clifford) Mason, Marie (Donald) Iverson, and Gladys (Donald) Caldwell.
Benny’s funeral took place Friday, Dec. 19 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, with interment in the Northfield Cemetery.