Constance Benston

constance benston
Constance (Connie) Theresa Sunde Benston was born September 20, 1912, in Fremont, MN, the youngest of seven children. Because of her father?s position as a buttermaker, the family lived in several towns in southern Minnesota before settling in Peterson, where she graduated from high school on May 28, 1930. Connie excelled in basketball, drama, and one-act plays and participated in numerous declamatory contests. Connie attended Winona Teachers College in Winona, MN, for two years and then transferred to the University of Minnesota and graduated on June 17, 1935, with a degree in Library Science. She began working for the Minneapolis Public Library in the Clippings Department, and eventually was promoted to Senior Library Assistant. She would later start a library at St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford, IL, and work at the Rockford Public Library. Connie married Martin (Mike) Henry Benston on September 21, 1940, in Brooklyn Center, MN. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Rockford, IL, where their only daughter Carolyn was born in 1949. In December of 1993 she moved to Fargo. Connie was active in the Rockford Lutheran Choral Union, the Auxiliary of River Bluff Nursing Home in Rockford, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (where she founded and directed a choir school), Our Savior?s Lutheran Church (where she sang in the senior choir), Meals-on-Wheels delivery, and as a weaving teacher for Rockford Adult Education and for the blind. She also loved baseball, and followed the Chicago Cubs as well as the Minnesota Twins and Bison Women?s Basketball. Rosemaling was a favorite hobby, as well as gardening, weaving, reading and jigsaw puzzles. Restoring the one-room schoolhouse that Mike attended as a child near Peterson was a special labor of love. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Mathilda Sunde; her brothers, Tenold, Rolf, and Abner; her half-brother, Millard; her sisters, Theona and Alpha; her husband, Martin; and granddaughter, Brynn Constance Hensrud. She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Hensrud of Fargo; her grandsons, Matthew Benston Hensrud of New York City, NY, and Brett Martin Hensrud of Fargo; her granddaughter, Molly Marie Hensrud of Denver, CO; and several nieces and nephews. Connie died on Monday, April 4, 2005, in the loving care of Moorhead Health Care Center. Her unshakable faith and love of music and nature have encouraged and sustained her family and friends throughout their time with her. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the music ministry at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, Moorhead Health Care Auxiliary in Moorhead, MN, and River Bluff Nursing Home Auxiliary in Rockford, IL. A memorial service for Connie will be held at 11:00 AM Friday in First Lutheran Church, Fargo. Burial will take place at North Prairie Lutheran Church Cemetery in Peterson, MN. Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. Online guestbook at

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