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Earl Benson 1941 – 2023

Earl M. Benson, age 81, of Park Rapids, passed away on May 12, 2023 at his home. Earl was born on November 21, 1941 in Akeley, Minnesota to Emil and Mary Benson. He graduated from Akeley High School in 1959. Then, in addition to joining the National Guard, he began working at the Red Owl in Park Rapids. Earl married Teresa Potter on June 16, 1962 and spent 49 joyful years together. This union blessed them with two children, Terri and David.
Earl, along with his business partner Dave Bergman, purchased the Red Owl store in 1976. They operated Dave & Earl’s for over 23 years, including a second store in Thief River Falls, MN. After his retirement in 1999, Earl sat on the Hubbard County Board of Adjustment for 12 years.
Earl was passionate about giving back to his community. He served as a volunteer firefighter with the Park Rapids Fire Department for 22 years. He was an active member of the Park Rapids Jaycees, Headwaters Country Club, American Legion, and supported youth baseball for many years. Earl loved the outdoors and cherished spending time teaching his grandchildren how to hunt and fish. He enjoyed being with family and friends on the lakes, out west in the mountains, and on the beaches in Florida. Earl treasured rooting for all Minnesota and local sports teams. Over the years, he liked playing a variety of sports with friends.
Earl is survived by his children: Terri (Jeff) Madsen of Big Lake, and David (Nancy) Benson of Chanhassen; brother Paul Benson of Nevis, sisters: Enid Bayman of Akeley, and Betty (Danny) Lecy of Akeley; grandchildren: Josh Madsen of Becker, Tyler Madsen of State College, PA, Austin Madsen of Normal, IL, Brooke Benson of Chanhassen, Ashley Benson of Minneapolis, and Carley Benson of Minneapolis.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Teresa, and brother Ray.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 19, 2023 at the Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, MN. Visitation is from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Park Rapids and also for one hour prior to the services at the church.
Arrangements are by the Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, MN. Online condolences may be left at

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