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Olga Ruth Benson


1919 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Olga Ruth Benson Obituary
Olga Ruth Benson

Born in 1919, Olga passed away on Friday, June 5th in Morro Bay. She grew up in West Virginia where her family survived the Great Depression and in the 1930's moved west to California. In 1940 she married Dexter Benson, an aircraft worker, and settled in the small town of El Segundo, California. The newlyweds purchased land and by 1948 the couple had constructed an apartment building, and started a family. In the 1950's Olga began her real estate career and by the 1970's became the successful broker-owner of Benson Realty. Customers expected to meet a blond, fair-skinned Northern European "Olga", and were always surprised to be greeted with a Southern twanged "Hi Honey" from an attractive, dark-haired women of Middle-Eastern descent. The same buyers and sellers seemed to always return for Olga's services, so much so that she sold one particular home seven different times during her 55-year career.

Olga thrived in real estate by listing, selling, lending, buying and building residential and commercial properties. She continued until the onset of dementia forced her into retirement at age 82. Today the family's Benson Properties company operates twenty buildings in five cities. In 2001 she moved to San Luis Obispo and kept busy as guest greeter for the family's Baywood Inn lodging property.

Olga was active in El Segundo as leader of many civic organizations. In 1980 she ran unsuccessfully for El Segundo City Council. She was a founding director of First Coastal Bank, now Citizens Business Bank. She was an owner of the El Segundo Herald Newspaper. Olga Benson excelled as a business woman during a time when men were more commonly the business achievers.

Olga spent her last nine years in assisted living care for dementia. She is survived by her son Alex and, daughter-in-law Pat of San Luis Obispo; and grandsons Ryan of Baltimore and Max (Katie) of Chicago. She always enjoyed feeding large groups of friends and family. To that end, donations are encouraged to the Senior Nutrition Program of San Luis Obispo, 2180 Johnson Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 http://www.snpslo.org
Published in Daily Breeze on June 9, 2015
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