Mary Louise Benjamin, 90, of Holdrege, Nebraska

Celebration of Life Services for Mary Louise Benjamin will be conducted from the St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church in Holdrege, Nebraska on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Karen Watson officiating. The family is honoring Mary Louise's wish of donation of her body to the Anatomical Board of the State of Nebraska. Following donation a private family inurnment will be in the Arapahoe Cemetery at Arapahoe, Nebraska.

Mary Louise Benjamin, 90 years of age, of Holdrege, passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the Bethany Home in Minden, Nebraska. Mary Louise was born July 12, 1922 at Ellston, Iowa, the eldest of three children born to Wayne and Vida (Crawford) Johnston. She received her education from Creston High School in Creston, Iowa, graduating with the class of 1939. Mary Louise then pursued higher education at Creston Junior College for two years and then attended business school in Columbus, Nebraska.

At the beginning of WW II until the conclusion of the war, she was employed as a secretary in the Purchasing Department of the Quaker Oats Ordinance Plant in Grand Island, Nebraska.

She met Robert Benjamin and they were united in marriage on February 2, 1944. To this union three children were born: Sherry, Stephen and Jeffrey. The family made their home in Arapahoe, Nebraska, where Mary Louise focused on being a homemaker and caring for the needs of the family when the children were young. Later in years, Bob and Mary Louise joined his father in the hardware store at Arapahoe. In 1959, they moved to Holdrege, where they started the Benjamin Hardware Store that eventually became Coast-to-Coast. She was also employed by Bee Printing, Becton-Dickinson, Bankers Life, Nelson-Harris Funeral Home, and Phelps Memorial Health Center. On January 23, 2001, she was preceded in death by her husband, Bob.

Mary Louise was a long-time member of the St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church, where she was active as the church organist and involved with the Daughters of the King. She also enjoyed the friendships formed in P.E.O. through the years being a 50 year member.

Besides her husband, Bob; Mary Louise was preceded in death by her parents; and two sisters: Margaret Becker and Joyce Spaulding.

She leaves to mourn her passing; her three children: Sherry Ehrenberg and her husband, Kenneth of Creighton, Nebraska, Steve Benjamin and his wife, Karen and Jeff Benjamin and his wife, Twila all of Holdrege; eight grandchildren: Kendra Holly and her husband, Matt, Heather Swanson and her husband, Rod, Steph Noble and her husband, Dan, Matt Benjamin and his wife, Mandy, Cody Benjamin, Kelly Carden and her husband, Tim, Trent Benjamin and his wife, Kristin, and Mitch Benjamin and his wife, Tiffany; thirteen great-grandchildren: Jaycee Streeter, Nolan Benjamin, Morgan Noble, Brooke Benjamin, Makenza Holly, Skylar Benjamin, Annie Carden, Brenna Benjamin, Teagan Carden, Tayten and Ryker Swanson, Khalil Benjamin, and Liam Carden; brothers-in-law: Don Spaulding and his wife, Debi of Fonda, Iowa and Phil Benjamin and his wife, Doris of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; sister-in-law, Betty Moulin of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; four nieces: Beverly Shelite and her husband, Garry, Stacy Renteria and her husband, Ralph, Patti Deppe and her husband, Bud, and Jill McCaughey and her husband, Marty; one nephew, Doug Becker; and a host of other relatives and friends.

There will be no visitation.

A memorial has been established in Mary Louise's honor and kindly suggested to the St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church or the donor's choice.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.

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