Arvid Leland Benson was born in Cloquet, Minnesota on June 4, 1932, to Anton and Signe Benson. His parents were dairy farmers from Mahtowa, Minnesota, and he was the third of five brothers. Arvid graduated from Barnum High School in 1950, where he was nicknamed “Lover Boy.” He was an avid athlete in high school and played guard on the varsity team. Early on in life, however, Arvid realized that he wanted something besides farming in his future, so at the age of eighteen, he decided to leave the rural life and joined the U.S. Navy for travel and adventure.
Arvid joined the Navy in February 1951 and became an Electrician’s Mate, ultimately attaining the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. He was assigned to the USS Orion, which was homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. During his time in the military, he visited several ports, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For his service during the Korean War, he received the National Defense Service Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in January 1955.
After leaving the military, Arvid decided to attend college with dreams of a career in the business world, “I had always wanted to wear a white shirt to work.” He enrolled at The University of Minnesota at Duluth, majoring in Business and Economics with a minor in Social Science. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in only three years in 1959. In order to help pay for his college education, he held several jobs, including construction, furniture delivery, and electrical work, and as a result, he proudly graduated from college debt free.
With his university degree in hand, Arvid hit the financial ground running. He first worked for a tax preparation company as a junior accountant, and shortly thereafter, he landed his dream job at Imperial Savings in San Diego, California, at the time, the largest state Savings and Loan in the United States. He became Chief Financial Officer, working at that institution for 25 years. Before retiring in August 1994, Arvid was CFO for The Foundation For Educational Achievement.
Arvid married his wife of 63 years, Marjorie “Margie” Eleanor Benson, on September 21, 1957, in Barnum, Minnesota. They met at the Soo Hotel, where Arvid believes Margie was captivated by his smile and sense of humor. They decided to relocate to San Diego in 1959, after Arvid was hired by Imperial Savings. He and Margie raised three children: Scott, John, and Lisa. Quality family time included barbecues, road trips, camping, fishing, and dinner with the grandparents. Once Arvid and Margie retired, they became members of the Snowbird Travel Club and for 24 years, they extensively explored the United States in their RV. Foreign trips were also of interest, including a visit to Arvid’s ancestral homeland of Sweden. However, despite his vast travel experience, he always maintained that his favorite place on earth would always be his native state of Minnesota.
At the age of 89, Arvid passed away on July 29, 2021, at home in the care of family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Benson; parents, Anton and Signe Benson; and his brothers, Marvin, Mervin, and Alden. He is survived by his brother, Carl (Naomi) Benson; son, Scott (Marni) Benson; son, John (Roberto) Benson; daughter, Lisa (Joseph) Kuharski; grandson, Christopher (Beth) Benson; granddaughter, Laurel (Christopher) Benson; grandson, Brandon Kuharski; grandson, Stephen (Caroline) Berndt; grandson, Ryan (Mary) Berndt, and grandson, Michael Berndt, as well as eight great-grandchildren: Cooper, Nolan, Bailey, Audrey, Carter, Juliet, Sutton, Lily, and nieces and nephews. A private memorial service will be held at Featheringill Mortuary in San Diego, California, with his final resting place to be at the Riverside Cemetery in Barnum, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the following charities:
-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
-Multiple Sclerosis Association of America