James Mark Benson, 53

Published 11:09 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

James Mark Benson, 53, of Byron, passed away peacefully Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, after a five-year courageous battle with cancer, at home, with his loving family by his side.

Jim was born in Albert Lea on April 15, 1958, to Donald and Ruth (Black) Benson. He was a graduate of Ellendale High School in 1976 and Winona State University, criminal justice in 1981. While in Winona, Jim met Mary Elizabeth Currier of Mantorville. They were wed on June 25, 1983, at First Baptist Church in Kasson. Jim and Mary have one daughter, Megan Currier Benson.

From 1981-1986 Jim worked for the Dodge Center Police Department as a patrol officer. Jim was employed by the Rochester Police Department from 1986-2011. He worked as a patrol officer for 20 years, and during the last five years he was assigned to the staff development training unit with the police department. From 2001-2011 Jim was a member of the Rochester Police/Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department Emergenry Response Unit as a sniper, with the last five years as coordinator of the sniper team.

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Jim loved spending time with his family and enjoyed reading, traveling, boating, kayaking, hiking, biking, cooking and soap making. Jim was an active member of Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester.

He is survived by his loving wife Mary and daughter Megan, both of Byron; mother, Ruth Benson, of Albert Lea; sister, Jane Mattson, of Hastings; mother-in-law, Margaret Currier, of Mantorville; sisters-in-law: Kay (David) Johnson of Eagan and Susan (William) Gay of El Centro, Calif.; brothers-in-law: Tom (Micheale) Currier of St. Paul, lke (Brenda) Currier of Kasson, Jay Currier of Mantorville and Ben Currier of Mantorville; and many nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Jim was preceded in death by his father, paternal and maternal grandparents, and beloved family dog, Samantha.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 NW Royal Place NW, Rochester. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Autumn Ridge Church, 3611 SW Salem Road, Rochester with visitation one hour prior to the funeral service. Interment is at Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville immediately following the funeral.

Memorials to the family will be donated to Rochester Police Benevolent Association, American Cancer Society, and Autumn Ridge Church.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes of Rochester is in charge of arrangements.