Obituary of Gabriel William Benson
Gabriel William Benson died in his Minneapolis apartment June 9, 2023, in his sleep of a heavier than normal heart.
Gabe’s memorial service will be June 18 at Augsburg University’s Chapel, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis with a 2 pm visitation and 3 service with reception to follow. To honor him, please wear something Gabe-esque, with sparkle or glamour. A family burial will be July 28 at West Lake Cemetery.
Gabe was born April 3, 1997, in Rockford, Illinois, the youngest of three siblings to John and Jill (Roisum) Benson. He moved to Willmar, Minnesota for his upbringing. As a child, he loved The Wizard of Oz, and in school, he loved to read, musicals, and his French horn and cello. He built sets and went to state speech. He graduated from Willmar High School in 2015.
Gabe loved college and earned a double BA at Augsburg University in English and Communications in 2019. He got a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University as well. The pandemic changed Gabe’s trajectory as he had a road to Damascus conversion to mortuary science. He wanted life and death work, and he found it. The proudest day of his life was graduating with his mortuary science degree from the University of Minnesota in May 2022.
He had two major jobs, speech coach at Chanhassen High School and as a mortician. The year he worked as a funeral director at the Cremation Society of Minnesota combined his gifts: comfort with the dead, creativity, and empathy.
Gabe was our heart. He babysat the Elliott four, came to every holiday, and gave hugs. His friends all consider themselves Gabe’s favorites and are probably right. His hobbies were his trivia night, karaoke, and theater (especially the Guthrie). He was warm, dramatic, and had an infinite capacity for the lives of people-- old or young / dead, or alive.
Gabe is survived by Jill and John Benson of Willmar, sister Serah Wolfe of Olivia, brother Paul and Tiff of Minneapolis, Steve, Nikki and Logan Roisum of LaCrosse WI, Lee Roisum and Carol Welker of Sunburg, great-aunts Marit Elliott of Melrose, Judy Nelson of North Branch, and Irene Swanson of Oxnard, CA. Elliott cousins include Adam, Ryan, Karn and William Moening of Melrose, Jennifer and Andrei Chornomor of Brooklyn NY, Katie Elliott of St. Paul, and Blake and Noelle Elliott of Minneapolis. Blake and Noelle’s four were special to Gabe and deserve special mention: Harper, Hudson, Ruby, and Owen. Swanson cousins include Melissa Malinowski of St. Paul, Darrin Nelson of North Branch, Mark Mattson of Champlin and Kristie Schmitz of Blaine. Grandmother Carol Benson lives in Kandiyohi and her sister, Sue Hanson in Detroit. There are three Benson uncles: Pete and Cheryl [with Blake] in Sartell, Dan and Sarah Rowe in Hastings UK [with Kate and Mo], and Andrew and Kristine Benson [Sydney and Paige].
Special friends include Claire (Schmitz) Dousti and Jordyn Robarge.
Preceded in death are Dwain and Marlys Roisum, William Benson, and Sue Schmitz.