BENSON, CONNIE - Minnehaha County, South Dakota | CONNIE BENSON - South Dakota Gravestone Photos


Woodlawn - Sioux Falls Cemetery
Minnehaha County,
South Dakota

Connie Nielsen Benson
August 24, 1943 - March 30, 2020

Connie Nielsen Benson was born August, 24th 1943 to 1st Lt. Andrew and Vivian Nielsen in Sioux City, Iowa. Her early years were spent growing up on a farm in Emmetsburg, IA. Her first school experience was in a one room schoolhouse with only one other child in her class. The family decided to move to Vermillion, SD for better opportunities. This is where she and her sister (Kathy) spent the rest of their youth. After graduating from Vermillion High School, she attended University of South Dakota. A lot of important things happened during her college experience. Connie met the man who would be her love of her life and future husband, Gail Benson. She received the JH Julian Scholarship Award. She became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. She was in the National College Queen Contest representing South Dakota. As a part of the contest she got to go to New York City and had an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. She graduated USD with a BA in Business Education and a minor in Economics.

Soon after Connie graduated, she and Gail were married in Vermillion. While Gail attended Med School, Connie taught various business classes at numerous levels from high school to professional business schools.

After Gail graduated from Mayo Clinic, he joined the Air Force and they moved to Fort Worth, Texas. It was here that they, with the help of Connie's mother Vivian, became adoptive parents. First Kristina followed by Jason 14 months later. This was one of the happiest moments in her life. Soon after the adoptions, Gail was discharged from the Air Force and they had decided to live in Sioux Falls, SD in order to be closer to family.

Once established in Sioux Falls Connie became very active in many organizations and activities. She was very active in the Catholic Church. Helping to establish first St. Michaels and later Holy Spirit. Connie made friends easily and had many of them. Connie was involved in Bible Study, Junior League, PEO, Lupus Support Group, and Renaissance Readers Book Club. She had many interests that kept her very busy, cooking, needlepointing, decorating, walking with friends, gardening, volunteering, entertaining and traveling. Connie also helped to establish the gymnastics program at O'Gorman High School.

During the summers Connie and her family loved being at their lake place on West Lake Okoboji. During the winters she and her family loved being at their house at the Mauna Lani on the Big Island Hawaii. Connie really enjoyed spending time with her lifelong friends at both places.

After living a long life that her doctors said wasn't possible Connie lived through Lupus, Breast Cancer, Kidney disease, a bad heart valve and Leukemia. Connie passed away on March 30th 2020 at her home in Sioux Falls and was surrounded by her immediate family and her sister, Kathy.

Proceeding her in death are her mother Vivian, father Andrew and 5 miscarried babies.

Connie is survived by her husband, Gail, children Jason Benson and Kristina (Brent) Antonen, grandchildren Austin, McKenzie and Jayden Antonen, and sister Kathy (Dave) Martin.

In lieu of flowers or food please consider making a donation to: Holy Spirit Church, memo: Connie Benson, 3601 E. Dudley Lane, Sioux Falls, SD 57103; or Lupus Foundation at A private service and burial is planned for Friday April 3, 2020.

Section Oak Plot # 2624

Contributed on 7/26/21 by 9katz
Email This Contributor

Suggest a Correction

Record #: 272462

To request a copy of this photo for your own personal use, please contact our state coordinator. If you are not a family member or the original photographer — please refrain from copying or distributing this photo to other websites.

Additional BENSON Surnames in WOODLAWN - SIOUX FALLS Cemetery

Additional BENSON Surnames in MINNEHAHA County

Thank you for visiting the South Dakota Gravestone Photo Project. On this site you can upload gravestone photos, locate ancestors and perform genealogy research. If you have a relative buried in South Dakota, we encourage you to upload a digital image using our Submit a Photo page. Contributing to this genealogy archive helps family historians and genealogy researchers locate their relatives and complete their family tree.

Submitted: 7/26/21 • Approved: 7/27/21 • Last Updated: 7/30/21 • R272462-G272462-S3

Users Online  |  Surnames  |  Other GPP Projects  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Site Map  |  Admin Login