Tom E. Benson, 85

Aug. 3 1937 -
May 23, 2023
RIDGEWAY - Tom was born on Tuesday,  the third of August, to Thomas and Ella Benson of rural Ridgeway. Thomas was a diligent farmer and Ella was a wonderful and loving mother and housewife. Tom attended the Orleans No. 5 one-room schoolhouse and proceeded to Cresco High School, where he graduated in 1955 and continued to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa from 1955-1959, with a degree in Agricultural Journalism. 
In 1959 he moved to St. Paul, Minn., and started work with Webb Publishing as an associate editor with The Farmer magazine. It was during this time that Tom met Gerie Johnson. They were married in 1962. They had three children: Jennifer Cecil, Sarah Jane, and T. Nathan Louis. In 1971, Tom received the Minnesota Bush Foundation Fellowship and graduated from Harvard University with his PMD in 1972. Tom continued his advancement with Webb publishing for the next 24 years until 1983. 
In 1983 Tom, Gerie and Nathan moved to Des Moines, Iowa, and he started at Meredith Publishing Services and from 1987-1996. He started up and launched as the Publisher of Midwest Living Magazine, his greatest work accomplishment. 
From 1998-2007, Tom worked independently with his Benson Publishing project in Minneapolis. Here he created his self-sufficient Networking Newsletter with a peak of 8,000 readers. He retired from publishing altogether in 2010 after 51 years as a journalist and lover of words, speech and grammar. 
In 2018, Tom and Gerie moved to Rochester to be closer to their daughter,  Jenna, and good medical facilities. He passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Madonna Towers Assisted Living,  near his loving wife, Gerie, after 60 wonderful years of marriage at 85 years old. Memorial services were held in celebration of his life on June 1, 2023 at Madonna Towers Chapel in Rochester. 
Tom is survived by his wife, Gerie, his children: Jenna and Nathan; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild and his sister, Lila (Jack) Christensen. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ella; father, Thomas,  and his loving daughter, Sarah in 2017. 
He will always be loved and remembered as a loving friend, father and husband for his kind-spoken manner, levelheaded temper and his love for his family and his best-known quote, “So much to learn, and such little time.” Love you Tombo!
Tom’s memorial website is at

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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