Paul A. Mortenson

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Paul A Mortenson, 89, of Benson died on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at his home in Benson. CANCELLED: A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Benson. Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the church. Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Paul A. Mortenson, 89, of Benson, Minnesota died Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at his home in Benson.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the church.

Paul A. Mortenson was born October 13, 1930 at the Swift County Benson Hospital to P. B. and Anna (Knutson) Mortenson. He was baptized November 9, 1930 and confirmed May 13, 1945 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Benson. As a child, he attended rural schools through the 8th grade, advanced to and graduated from Benson High School in 1948.

Paul farmed with his father. He joined the National Guard and was federalized in 1951. Upon recovery from a serious car accident, he rejoined his unit, later going to Camp Rucker, Alabama and Panama City, Florida to complete his enlistment. Paul was an expert marksman, receiving many medals. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in May 1952. He returned home with his love for the land, practiced conservation in all aspects of farming,  also raising turkeys.

He married the love of his life, Helen Mattheisen,  April 20, 1957 at Pilgrim Congregational Church, spent 46 years on the farm and moved to Benson in February 2003. Together they lived, loved and shared over 63 years of marriage.

Paul shared his enthusiasm, knowledge and abilities in so many ways with his family and community. He was active in Golden Gloves, Kodikan Judo, and Tai Chi; studied Judo in Japan, earning his third degree black belt.  He then shared these talents as he taught them in Benson for many years and also for Morris Community Ed. Physical fitness was key and he practiced it faithfully; also helping to start the Faithfully Fit program at Our Redeemer’s and attended regularly as along as he was able. He worked as a Deputy Sheriff for many years, was active in Farmers Union, 4-H, Township assessor, and served on the boards of the Swift County Museum and Friends of the Library and was a member of the American Legion.

Paul loved water, scuba diving, and teaching others. As a couple, they enjoyed trips to the Caribbean and other islands, also Europe and Japan. They enjoyed those talents at Linka, Scandia and other area lakes as well. Many interests included great story-telling, visiting, playing cards (especially Hand and Foot), biking and hiking, and enjoying God’s creation.

Paul had a love for humanity which was exhibited in many ways. He received the Big Brother’s Award for sharing time and talents with young boys. At about this time, Paul and Helen became foster parents; Madrene, Julie, and Jim became their family. Helping children move from troubled homes, they tried to make those transitions a positive experience; these are their children to this day.

In June 2003, he helped save three children by catching them as they were dropped from the second story of a burning home in Willmar. In February of 1985, he retrieved a glass eye that popped out while a man was ice fishing at Scandinavian Lake. On another occasion after dark and trying to coax a black bear that had escaped from a hobby farm, down for a tree, he shot the bear with a rifle.

Paul was a man of deep faith and was involved in many aspects of church life at Our Redeemer’s. He sang in the male chorus and senior choir for 50 plus years, belonged to Men’s Bible Study, taught Sunday School, washed dishes in the kitchen and ushered at funerals. He was a Deacon, took communion to shut-ins and was a friendly visitor. The church sponsored a Vietnamese family in the late 1970’s and they liked and needed carp for their food supply. Paul speared and provided 600 pounds of carp for them that summer.

Paul was a quiet gentle man of God - he now rests in Jeusus’ Peace.

Paul Mortenson, a lifelong resident of the Benson area, was called from this life July 14, 2020 after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease and lung cancer.

He is survived by his wife Helen, son Jayme “Jim”; daughters Madrene (Scott) Grund and Julie (Michael) Ferguson; brother Dean (Deanna) Mortenson; sister Marjorie Williamson; brother-in-law Bob Mattheisen and sister-in- law Jane Swanson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Palvin and Anna Mortenson, brother Vern and wife Ruby Mortenson and brother-in-law Bill Williamson.

Blessed be his memory.

Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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