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Obituary for Lonnie Bench
Lonnie Everett Bench was born June 19, 1939 to Hattie and Virgil Bench and died October 28, 2020 at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. Cremation has taken place at the Johnson Family Funeral Home & Crematory – Stuart Chapel.
He attended school in Van Meter and Waukee where he graduated in 1957. He went to work for Ralph Smith, Inc. laying flooring in businesses, schools, and hospitals.
He met Doris Gilman through a mutual friend and they married on October 15, 1961 in Doris' hometown of Stuart.
Lonnie has always been a farmer at heart, so when his older brother Harold died in 1962 Lonnie decided to partner with his father on the farm as Harold had done. Lonnie and Doris moved to the Booneville area and while Lonnie worked on the farm Doris continued to work at Brenton Bank in Des Moines.
Son Lonnie Eric was born in 1964 and Daughter Lisabeth Erin in 1967. Lonnie and Doris bought the John Deere store in Stuart from Doris' father L.D. Gilman in 1968 and brought the family to Stuart. They didn't renew the John Deere contract in 1970 but expanded the farm and home supply store and added a tire shop.
Lonnie was on the Stuart City Council, the school board, the Jaycees, Stuart Service Club, and served as Guthrie County Supervisor.
Lonnie sold the Bench Supply store to Paul and John Wilson, then worked for a time for Farmers Mutual Insurance before joining Vince Wells Insurance Agency, renamed Wells-Bench Insurance.
Lonnie was preceded in death by his parents Virgil and Hattie Bench, brother Harold, and mother-in-law and father-in-law DeRue and Genevra Gilman.
Lonnie is survived by his wife of 59 years Doris, Son Eric [Courtney], Daughter Erin Goodson [Rich], brother Loren [Marilyn] sister Luetta, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Steve and Mary Ellen Gilman, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sheila and Jim O'Riley; grandchildren Sabrina [Sarah], Michael Clayton, Dakota DeRue, Tavien, Jacob, Zoe, and Eli; nephews Dan Bench, Terry Bench, Scott Gilman, David Curtis Gilman, Troy Gilman, and Jeff O'Riley; nieces Deborah Bench, Rhonda (Morrison) O’Riley, and Brenda (Gilman) Klepser; other relatives and many, many friends. Memorial cards may be sent to Bench Family, 3285 340th St. Stuart, IA 50250.