Carl E. Benson, Sr., 78

Carl E. Benson, Sr., 78, of Punxsutawney, passed from this life on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, and into God’s eternal glory while surrounded by family who were lifting him up in prayer.

Born April 13, 1934, Carl was the son of Oscar C. and Henrietta M. (Harrold) Benson.

He was also a son of God, through his acceptance of his Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. He lived a life that was defined by his love for these two families: earthly and spiritual.

Carl lived in the same hollow his entire life, near his beloved parents and numerous other family members. His childhood and teenage years were filled with the presence, love and support of the tight-knit, extended families to which he belonged.

The Benson family gathered together regularly and served each other lovingly to reinforce the bonds that made them strong. They also extended their love to many friends who became part of the family.

During these same years, Carl attended the Juneau Evangelical United Brethren Church where he learned to do the same with his spiritual family.

In many cases, and in the most wonderful of ways, these two sets of family lines crossed to become the supporting network, the fabric, of Carl’s life.

On Sept. 26, 1953, Carl created a new strand in this fabric when he married his best friend and lifelong spiritual partner, Louise H. Todd.

“And the two shall be as one,” was never more true than with Carl and Louise. The two were inseparable.

For many who knew them, it’s impossible to think of one without thinking of the other. Together they found joy and gave joy to those around them by living out their passion to serve God, strengthening and growing their family and His family.

Carl and Louise had a passion to use their gifts in service to their Savior. They used their material blessings to faithfully support a number of foreign missionaries and local Christ-centered causes such as We Care Pregnancy Center, Right to Life and Child Evangelism Fellowship.

They used their God-given musical talents to spread His message, traveling and singing as a duet or with family members as “The Bensons” or “The Singing Bensons.”

They are also remembered throughout the region as being members of the southern gospel group “The Harmony Four” with their lifelong friends Bill and Joyce Dunmire.

Carl was also a member of the “Backwoods Quartet” for many years. Carl and Louise enjoyed attending the National Quartet Convention yearly, reconnecting with their spiritual brothers and sisters, and soaking in God’s message through song.

They also looked forward to spending time with family and friends each year in God’s magnificent creation during their annual fishing trips to Ignace, Ontario.

Carl sought God’s wisdom and will for his life in many ways. His Bible is well worn with notes throughout.

He also continued to seek regular Christian fellowship by serving in a variety of Christ-centered organizations including Men with Vision.

He and Louise were active members of the Canoe Ridge Church of God since 1980.

Carl also asked for God’s guidance through prayer. Late in his life, even when many of his physical and mental capacities had been stripped away, his love for his Savior shone through when he prayed.

Thanks to his love of family, although a thread is now missing, a strong fabric remains.

Surviving relatives include son Carl E. Benson, Jr. of Punxsutawney, son Mark A. Benson and wife Kathleen of Punxsutawney, son Keith J. Benson and wife Vanessa of Queensbury, N.Y.; sister Kay and husband Gary Neal of Punxsutawney; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by siblings Dolly Cavallo and Harold and Darold Benson; and a grandchild, Christopher Benson.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at McCabe Funeral Home in Punxsutawney.

A memorial service in celebration of Carl’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Canoe Ridge Church of God in Rossiter.

Interment will be at Hopewell Cemetery in Frostburg.

The family has requested that no flowers be sent.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Child Evangelism Fellowship Jefferson-Elk County, P.O. Box 217, Punxsutawney, PA 15767.