Valdo Dunkley Benson, 79, died peacefully at home Tuesday, October 30, 1990.
He was born April 23, 1911 in Whitney, Idaho to George Taft, Jr. and Sarah Dunkley Benson, the seventh of 11 children; President Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City; Joseph D. Benson (deceased), Margaret Keller, Nampa, Idaho; Orval D. Benson, Whitney, Idaho; Louisa Greenwood, Garden Valley, California; Lera Whittle, Provo; George T. Benson (deceased), Sally Eveleth, Redding, California; Ross D. Benson, (deceased), V. Ben Benson, Valley Center, California.As a young man, Valdo served an LDS Swiss German mission where he assisted his mission president in establishing a new mission in Berlin. He attended the University of Idaho. He sang leading roles in school musicals and was an outstanding athlete in basketball and tennis. He graduated with a B.S. degree from Utah State Agricultural College.
Valdo married Ruth Watkins on March 31, 1939 in the Logan LDS Temple. They lived in South Bend, Indiana where Valdo worked as a sales organizer for Intermountain Knitting Mills. During World War II he was employed by the U.S. Treasury Department to organize the selling of war securities to farmers in the 11 western states. He thereafter went into the turkey business and later purchased a 320-acre farm in Carey, Idaho. He was a progressive and successful agri-businessman as well as community leader. After 12 years of farming, the Benson's accepted a call to Germany to preside over the Central German Mission. After three memorable years, he joined with longtime friends in the fabric business and moved to Seattle, where he opened over 30 retail stores in the Northwest. Upon retirement, they purchased ranch property in Riverdale and Mink Creek, Idaho. When Mr. Benson was asked what he was going to raise on his ranch, he said, "Grandchildren", and how they have enjoyed "Grandpa's" ranch, where they acquired his love for fishing and the out-of-doors.
Valdo's church service includes: regional representative, original producer of the Martin Harris Pageant; mission president (Central German), Blaine Stake president, stake High Councilman, bishop, branch president, Scoutmaster and teacher. He is a recipient of Scouting's Silver Beaver Award. He has always been active in the Scouting program, serving on the executive board of the Snake River and Cache Valley Councils.
Together, he and his wife served another LDS mission to Atlanta, Georgia. His life has been one of service and love for other people.
He is survived by his wife, and five children, Lauralie Tanner (Gary) Ogden; John T. Benson (Kathleen), Logan; Ralph V. Benson (Louise), Bountiful; Rebecca Smith (Steven), and JoAnn Steele (Rex), Boise, Idaho; 30 grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 3, 1990 at 1 p.m. in the Logan 24th Ward Chapel, 1260 No. 1600 East, with Bishop Sheldon L. Nelson conducting. There will be a viewing from 6-8 p.m. Friday, at the Allen-Hall Mortuary and one hour prior to services. Interment will be in the Logan City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Research Fund, 543 East 500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102 or to the LDS Church Missionary Fund.
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