Lillian "Lil" Bensa, 87, of Edwardsville died Saturday, February 23, 2013, at Eden Village Care Center in Glen Carbon, IL.
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She was born July 26, 1925, in Philadelphia, PA, a daughter of the late Louis and Almeda Orben Kessel and stepmother, Catherine Richards Kessel. The family of 12 moved to Edwardsville in 1938 when her father took a job with Union Tank Car Co. She married her sweetheart Wilfred Henry "Mike" Bensa on August 7, 1944, in Edwardsville; he preceded her in death on November 1, 1980.
Also preceding her in death were 6 brothers: Floyd Kessel, Louis Kessel Jr., Albert Kessel, George Kessel, John Kessel, Charles Kessel; 2 step-brothers: Herbert Richards, P. Melvin Richards; 3 sisters: Edith Aff, Dorothy eyerhoff, young sister Eleanor Kessel; and her good friend and companion of 13 years, Alvin Frey of Troy, IL.
She is survived by her two daughters: Marie Dubach and Sharon Flaugher (Mike) both of Glen Carbon and her son: Michael Bensa (Michele) of Edwardsville; 9 grandchildren: Dawn Sahuri (Dave) of Edwardsville, Diane Giebe (Don) of Collinsville, Debra Pratte (John) of Edwardsville, R. Matthew Dubach (Renee) of Glen Carbon, Robert Dubach (Melanie) of Wood River, Cole Bensa of Edwardsville, Tara Reeves (Jeremy) of Greenville , Chris Flaugher of Glen Carbon, & Brooke Bensa of Edwardsville; 8 great-grandchildren: Jordan, Logan & Sydney Sahuri of Edwardsville, Madison & Miranda Pratte of Edwardsville, Carson & Maryssa Dubach of Glen Carbon, & Savannah Reeves of Greenville; one brother: William Kessel of Dunnellon, FL; 3 sisters-in-law: Alice Kessel, Edwardsville; Joyce Kessel, Savannah, GA; & Patricia Kessel, Dunnellon, FL.
Lillian was an avid genealogist, enjoyed baking wedding cakes, sewing, quilting, crocheting & crafts, singing in the church choirs, dancing & traveling. She enjoyed telling stories of her life growing up in a big, close-knit family. She dearly loved all of her brothers and sisters. Her Mother died when she was 12 yrs old and was the only girl still living at home amongst all her brothers, however her Father always made her feel special; she was a real Daddy's girl.
Lillian was also proud to be a Minute Maid during WWII that sold war bonds.
Lillian was a member of Eden United Church of Christ and attended Friedens UCC in Troy. She had numerous memberships in groups & clubs, including: past-president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #199, Eden Circle #10, Noble Grand of the Rebecca's in Troy, Madison County Home Extension "Edw B", president of the Shut-Ins, Genealogy Club, & director of the Merry Makers Kitchen Band.
Lillian was employed as a cook for the Edwardsville School District, Dog-n-Suds in Wood River and later became the Director of the Cafeteria at Bell Telephone in Collinsville; and her outgoing personality and love of meeting new people was a perfect match when she pitched in as guide on the many trips that she took.
Lillian Bensa will be greatly missed by all her family and friends.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at Irwin Chapel Funeral Home in Glen Carbon. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 27, 2013, at the funeral home with Rev. John Roberts officiating. Interment will be at Valley View Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Eden United Church of Christ, Edwardsville, IL and the
Published in Edwardsville Intelligencer from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26, 2013