Irene Classen Benne is now in the Lord’s keeping after 103 years of life. She died peacefully in the morning of December 31, 2021, at the Wooded Glen in Springfield, Ohio.

Living in Springfield, her relationship to the three sons of Kenneth and Patricia Benne was particularly close and they revered her. But she also knew and loved all her nine grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren. Besides them, she is survived by her sons, Robert and Kenneth, and their spouses, Joanna and Patricia, and son-in-law Floyd Erickson. Her daughter, Carol Benne Erickson, died in 1999.

Consistent with her spirit of self-reliance, Irene lived independently and alone for nearly twenty years after the death of her husband, Dallas, in 1997. Her spunk and vitality led the family to celebrate her birthday almost yearly at the Springfield Country Club after her ninetieth year. She danced with her great-grandchildren at her ninety-eighth birthday gathering.

The Christian service of burial for the dead will be held later in the spring because of the current COVID surge. It will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Springfield, Ohio, where she was an active member during her Springfield years. The service will be led by her pastor, the Rev. Tom Brodbeck.

She will be buried next to her husband at Mt. Hope Cemetery in West Point, Nebraska at a later date.