September 19, 1930 - July 10, 2020 Eugene Marlowe Benson was born on September 19, 1930 in South St. Paul, Minnesota to Katherine (Yeager) and Iver Benson. He was the middle son of eight children, seven brothers and one sister. Gene is survived by his wife Doris of 56 years and two brothers, Clarence (Mary Lou) Benson of Marion, Iowa and Ronald (Carol) Benson of St. Paul, Minnesota, and sister-in-law Janet Scheuneman of St. Paul, and many nieces and nephews. Gene attended South St. Paul schools, getting his GED in 1948. Gene served in the US Navy from September 1947 as an electricians mate FM3, abroad the USS Sicily (CVE 118) during the Korean War . He was honorably discharged in August of 1951. With help of the G.I. Bill Gene graduated from the University of Minnesota with a metallurgical Engineering degree. Gene worked across the nation at nuclear reactor fuel production facilities as an engineer and in management; retiring from Westinghouse Hanford Co. in 1993. Buying his first sailboat in 1965 while living in Long Island sound area and after several different boats sailing Lake Erie, PA, he ended in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Gene and his wife, spent two summers sailing to Alaska, adding another sailing adventure. After building his home himself in Shelter Bay, it was time to land cruise with the R.V. Many visits were made to the Midwest to see family and the National Parks. After enough traveling, for the past 20 years, Gene took up his passion for woodworking. He led volunteers to construct quilt stands for the La Conner quilt museum, a three sided bookcase for the children's section of the La Conner Library. He also made toys, such as doll cradles, treasure boxes, trucks, and cars. Gene's last project included making toys such as easels, puzzles and truck kits for the US Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" Christmas donations, the Skagit Boys & Girls Clubs and Swinomish Tribe children. For several years three other Santa Helpers were added to the crew of toy producers. Gene's motto was "no piece of wood is so ugly that it cannot be made into something beautiful." Gene will be buried in South St. Paul, Minnesota. His celebration of life will be at a later date due to Covid-19. Family and friends thank the Hospice of the Northwest for their wonderful giving and care for all. Memorials may be sent to Hospice, Toys for Tots or Skagit Boys & Girls Clubs.
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