Jens (Jay) Benson of White Bear Lake
Formerly of Wabasha
Jens (Jay) was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1929 to parents Kurt and Ketty Bengtsson. He was joined by brothers Civa (who predeceased him) and Sven as well as three half brothers, Jan, Jerry and Hans. Jens had a spirit of adventure and zest for all that life had to offer, and was always looking for a new experience, and a new story to tell. As a young man dad was lured by the sea and gained employment on the MS Gripshom, Swedish America Line, headed for New York! After several trips, he did his service in the Swedish military, then went back to sea. Jay immigrated to Canada in the mid fifties, living first in Montreal, then Vancouver. He asked his Swedish girlfriend to join him, she did and they had 3 children together; Glenn (Robbi and daughters Sara and Amy), Janet (Tony and children Kegan, Kaylan, Kelsey, Kapri and Teena (Michael). Never one to stay anywhere too long, he moved his family to the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Here the lure of the water snatched him up again; he bought a sailboat and was again on the water. He was always a âpeople personâ, and loved being in sales. His career settled when he entered the automotive industry; Mercedes, Toyota, Volvo being the main players until he retired. He loved a good car, and would drive anywhere. He was also very much a good father; patient and kind, never harsh. He shared his love of adventure with his family, taking road trips exploring Canada and the USA, creating life long memories. Funny, memories we share now of these trips are more about our antics as a family than our destinations.
Jay met his second wife, Marlys, while sailing and for the next 40 years they shared a passion for travel adventure. While residing in White Bear Lake they were proprietors of Santaâs Tree Farm where Jay found great pleasure in growing holiday trees and dressing up to play Santa Clause for local families. They retired to Wabasha, continuing his joy of being near water and meeting new friends. Jay kept busy volunteering at the Wabasha Eagle Center, and driving anyone in the community who had a need to medical appointments, no matter how far. His other pleasures included traveling in their motorhome, cooking, and story telling. Jay will be missed by his many friends and United States family; Wayne (Mary, and sons Matthew and Samuel), Paul (sons Ben and Andy) and Kristine (Jim and sons Tyler and Kyle), nephew Bruce and niece Kay (Bill). He is survived by wife Marlys.
Private interment. Donations would be gratefully accepted in Jayâs name to Sharing and Caring Hands, Minneapolis.