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9/29/1922 - 1/18/2013
Laverne E.Benshoof was born in Alden, Iowa September 29, 1922. He was the fourth of twelve children born to Elvin and Marie Benshoof. He grew up on farms in the Midwest during his childhood in the 1920's and the Depression years of the 1930's. During World War II he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a radioman aboard LST 173, a transport ship. After returning from the war he relocated to Southern California and married Freda Cornelius. Vern and Freda raised two daughters, Susan and Sherry, while living in Lakewood and Gardena. In 1978 he retired from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and moved with Freda to Foresthill, California. They eventually moved to Lake of the Pines in 1986. A few years after losing Freda to cancer he married his second wife, Pat Hansen in 1994. They were married for 14 years until her passing in 2008. Shortly thereafter he relocated to Southern California to be near his daughters and their families.
Vern was a quiet, easygoing, self-reliant man who had a very good sense of humor. He was an avid fisherman who found some amusement when family (Freda and Sherry) caught nothing and he was hauling in his 9th or 10th fish. He would then trade places and poles and continue to catch fish. While they didn't. Vern enjoyed golfing, traveling, crossword puzzles, reading and watching golf and football (preferably the 49ers) on television. Vern was physically active into his mid 80's. During this time he was still mowing his lawn by the lake and driving his daughters crazy by getting up on his roof to blow off leaves. His favorite story was when his car got a flat tire in front of President Truman's house in Independence. Unfortunately, Harry wasn't at home to help.
His daughters and their families were very involved with the care of Vern in his later years due to his struggles with Alzheimer's. Although frustrated at times by his condition, he took comfort in the love and support he received from Susan and Sherry. In addition, the family would like to acknowledge his caregiver for the past two years, Helen Arndt. Her diligent care and friendship to Vern and the family will be fondly remembered.
Vern passed away January 18, 2013 due to pneumonia. He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his daughters, Susan (John) Baack of Fountain Valley, Calif., and Sherry (Brad) Ridgway of Westminster, Calif.; granddaughters, Julie (Erik) Kirsch, Megan Baack, and Stacy (Eric) Lucas; great-granddaughters, Daphne and Kodie Kirsch, all of Orange County, Calif.; brothers, Lewis (Oregon) and Melvin (Kansas); sisters, Arlene Knott (Iowa), Betty Brown (Illinois), Shirley Pike (Kansas) and Beverly Ramsey (Calif.) and many nieces and nephews. Vern is also survived by his loving step-children, Nicki (Carol) Hansen-Dix of Grass Valley, Robbie (Tom) Horan of Lincoln, and John (Martha) Hansen of Sacramento; step-grandchildren, Cori Hansen, Jayme Hansen, Lindsay Horan, Megan (Joe) Vanich and their two children, Martin and Alison.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Jan. 27, 2013