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Erma Louise Priebe Benson
© Roberts and Son Funeral Home
Submitted by: Glenn

© Roberts and Son Funeral Home

June 10, 1923 - December 22, 2020

Erma Louise Priebe Benson, longtime resident of Blackwell, Oklahoma, died on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at Blackwell Regional Hospital at the age of 97.

A private celebration of life service will be held on Monday, December 28, at 1:00 p.m. in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Blackwell. Friends and relatives may attend the graveside services to be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Mount Olive Cemetery at Nardin, Oklahoma. Friends may also pay their respects at visitation on Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Erma was born on the family farm near Deer Creek, Oklahoma on June 10, 1923, to Otto Carl Priebe and Lydia Marie Reinking Priebe. She married the love of her life, Joseph “Joe” Ezra Benson on January 18, 1945 and they were married for more than twenty years until Joe’s death on August 6, 1966.

Growing up on the farm meant heard work, something Erma never backed away from, but she loved every minute of her childhood. Her loving parents raised her in the Lutheran church where she continued to work in the Sunday School as the nursery department music director for many years. She also served her church through the Dorcas Society and later as an active member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. For many years, she worked tirelessly teaching Bible School or helping in the kitchen for countless children each summer. Later, she would help elderly church members get to church by picking them up on Sunday mornings before service and brightened the day of many shut-in friends with her visits and gifts of food.

Erma graduated high school in Deer Creek, Oklahoma and moved to Blackwell where she worked at the Chitter Chat Stationary Shop and the Atlas Glass Plant. After the plant was destroyed by fire, she helped her aunt and uncle at the Denton hotel in Blackwell.

In addition to her church activities, Erma taught piano lessons to beginning students for over forty-six years, when a fall caused her to retire. She was a sales clerk for C.R. Anthony’s, later Stage Department Store, where she loved her customers and serving people of the community, working for the company before retiring with over 25 years of service.

Erma was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Lydia, her husband Joe, brothers, Harold and Erwin Priebe and sister Esther Boling.

She is survived by her children and their spouses: Christina S. Denney of Madison, Wisconsin, Donna and Jerry Field and Mike and Linda Shepherd, all of Blackwell. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Jason Shepherd, Brindan Shepherd and wife, Lori and Kristen Zimmerman and husband, Zack; Jordan Field and wife, Elizabeth and Landon Field. One of Erma’s greatest joys were her great grandchildren, Madison and Max Shepherd, Kate, Bret and Matt Shepherd, Lauren and Drew Zimmerman and Jack, Caroline and William Field and nothing gave her more joy than spending time with them.

Additional survivors include her sister-in-law, Doris Orahood of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and several nieces and cousins.

Mother was truly the best mother in the world. Mother was not only a hard worker and a role model to all of us, she was a dedicated Mother. She taught us so many lessons mostly by example rather than with words. She lived her faith. She was never selfish – always kind. She put our needs before her own and we never really wanted for anything. Mother always made us feel like we had plenty and we were together against the world. She believed in saving for the future and enjoyed buying savings bonds to put in the Christmas stockings of her grandchildren each year. She brought us up to love God and we always attended Sunday school and church each week, instilling in us a solid Christian heritage for which we are so grateful. Mother loved working in the church and that helped establish a foundation of love and hope for our family which has served us throughout our lives. We are so proud to call her our Mother and we will cherish the memories we have forever. We love you more than words can express. We would not have asked God for anyone other than you to be our guide through life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Erma’s memory to the Trinity Lutheran Church, Blackwell, Oklahoma.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Is. 40:31 NIV

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