Funeral services for Marlene Benkowski of Morris will be Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris, with Father Todd Schneider and Father Stan Weiser celebrating the mass. Visitation will be Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Burial will take place Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. at Wildwood Cemetery, Wheaton, Minnesota.
Marlene Determan Benkowski was born on April 25, 1933 to Leo and Catherine (Thull) Sand in New Munich, Minnesota. She was baptized and confirmed in New Munich. Marlene attended District 117 in rural St. Martin Township. She continued her education at the West Central School of Agriculture in Morris, Minnesota, graduating in 1952. Following her graduation, Marlene went to Wheaton, Minnesota with a friend and began working at a department store there. She met Sylvester Determan, the two began dating and were later married on June 16, 1954, in New Munich. The couple made their home on a farm near Wheaton where they worked on the farm and raised their family. In 1969, after their youngest child started first grade, Marlene went back to work. She started as a certified nurses’ aide at a nursing home in Wheaton and later took a job in food service at the school. Marlene retired at the age of 66, but then continued to volunteer to drive seniors in Wheaton. Sylvester passed away in 1996. Following his death, Marlene continued to live on the farm. In 2001, she met and later married Stanley Benkowski at St. John’s Catholic Church in Ortonville. The couple lived on the farm in Wheaton. Stanley died in 2003. Marlene lived on the farm until 2009 when she moved into West Central Homes in Morris.
Marlene was a member of Ava Maria Catholic Church in Wheaton until her move to Morris and then became a member of Assumption Catholic Church where she was an active member. Marlene is also a member of the Morris VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed dancing and traveling all over the continental US.
Marlene passed away Friday, October 29, 2021 at West Wind Village in Morris. She was 88 years old.
Marlene is survived by her best friend, Maurice Holslin of Alberta; five children: Mary (Dave) McLaughlin of Chico, California, Jon (Trudy) Determan of Wheaton, Joel (Lori) Determan of Andover, Kristi (Tom) Skowronek of Ramsey, and Pat (Mike) Estenson of Moorhead; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchilren; brothers: Maynard (Melva) Sand of Avon and Sylverious Sand of St. Cloud; sisters: Jean (Clarence) Enneking of Albany, Floriann (Raymond) Mayers of New Munich; sisters-in-law: Eileen Sand of Avon, Donna Sand of Freeport, Betty Sand of Albany and Lorraine Sand of Melrose; and good friend: Anne Hansen of Morris. She is preceded in death by her husbands: Sylvester and Stanley; sisters: Lucille Sand in infancy, Joan Otto and Pauline Kruscek; brothers: Bert Sand, Vern Sand, Jerome Sand, Eddie Sand, and Ervin Sand; sisters-in-law: Carrie Sand and Betty Sand.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to a charity of your choice.
Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements for Marlene. To send condolences to the family please visit www.pedersenfh.com.