1935-02-15 - 2023-02-15 Owatonna, MN - Nancy Wenger Benjamin died peacefully at home on her birthday, February 15, 2023. She was 88. Nancy was born on February 15, 1935 in Le Mars, Iowa, the daughter of Harry J. and Ruth M. Wenger. She moved to Owatonna as a child when her father accepted the position of music director of the Owatonna Public Schools. She was a 1953 graduate of Owatonna High School, and a 1957 graduate of Hamline University. Nancy married Roger Benjamin in the fall of 1957, and they soon started a family in St. Paul. They moved to Fort Campbell, Kentucky when Roger was commissioned as a Captain in the United States Army. They later lived in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Africa when they served in the Peace Corps. They settled in Owatonna in 1967, where Nancy raised their five children while Roger established his medical practice. Nancy filled her life with music. She majored in organ performance in college and was a professional church organist for many years. She accompanied and sang with the Wenger Singers and the Roger Tenney Chorale. She performed duo-piano recitals across southern Minnesota with life-long friend Phyllis Sanders. For many years, she took great pleasure in accompanying the Owatonna High School Concert Choir. She also served on the Board of Directors of Wenger Corporation, the music equipment company founded by her father, and later as a Trustee of the Wenger Foundation. Nancy and Roger were enthusiastic travelers, visiting destinations across the United States and around the world. They were particularly fond of ancient Greek history, returning to the Mediterranean eight times. They enjoyed long summers at their island cabin near Ely, MN, and annual winter trips to the Bahamas, often in the company of family and friends. Nancy was an accomplished home cook, a voracious reader, and a steadfast supporter of local artists, independent bookstores, and public television. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, and a trusted advisor and confidante to many. Nancy is survived by her husband of 65 years, Roger J. Benjamin, M.D., children Brent R. Benjamin, Brian J. Benjamin, Ann K. Benjamin, Todd B. Benjamin, and Jeff W. Benjamin (Ann S. Hobbie); grandchildren Henry H. Benjamin and William W. Benjamin; brother Jerry A. Wenger, and many beloved nieces and nephews. A service celebrating Nancy's life will be held at the United Methodist Church in Owatonna, Minnesota, on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Music Boosters of Owatonna, the Owatonna Arts Center, the Little Theatre of Owatonna, or the Owatonna Foundation.
Nancy Wenger Benjamin
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