Morris Clayson Benson, 73, passed away at home from natural causes on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Morris was born on Dec. 21, 1939, in Whitney, Idaho, to Orval and Lourena Benson. He attended school in Whitney, and graduated from Preston High school. During high school he was active in music, performing widely in Cache Valley as part of a trumpet trio. He was a naturally gifted athlete, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. He was known for his powerful batting skills.
He served an LDS mission to the southern states. Upon his return, he attended Ricks College where he met and married Jean Anne Johnson. They were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on Aug. 11, 1965. They became the parents of six children. He was a most patient and exceptional father.
He graduated from Ricks College and Brigham Young University. After completing college, he and Jean made Idaho Falls their home. He owned and operated Benson Livestock and Tri-B Meat Co. with his brother Orval for many years. Later, he was co-owner of ECSI Business Systems where he worked until his retirement. He was a man of many talents and abilities and what he didn’t know, he figured out.
He was a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had a great love for and devotion to Gospel principles. Though a man of few words, he taught his children and set an example for others through his Christ-like life.
He served in many church callings as elders quorum president, high priest group leader, high councilman, young men’s president, counselor in several bishoprics and Bishop of the Willow Creek Ward. He was active in and supportive of scouting. His favorite calling was as a primary teacher.
He was known for his hard-work ethic, usually outdoing those half his age. But he always put his family first, never missing their special events. For years, he played softball in the backyard and taught sportsmanship to his own children and most of the neighborhood kids.
He was a master gardener and landscaper. After retiring he was able to devote even more hours to creating a “Garden of Eden” for many to enjoy. His yard was featured in the Idaho Falls Garden Tour. His display of Christmas lights was included in the tour of Christmas lights for the city.
His greatest legacy is his faith, patience and endurance. Since he was a young boy, he suffered from health challenges. These challenges were numerous and increased in severity as he aged. However, he persevered and never complained, despite facing daily pain and disability. His enduring motto was “It’s nothing of eternal significance.”
He is survived by his loving wife, Jean; his children, Laurie Funk (Chris); Shannon Williams (Doug); Bonnie Larsen (Steve); Joel Benson (Kimberly); Julie Taylor (Jed); and Kimball Benson (Sharla); 28 grandchildren and one great-grandson. He is also survived by his siblings, Orval (Elaine), Larry (Lynda); Marsha Shumway (Del); and Vaughn (Cecelia).
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Kent, and his sister, Mignon.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at the St. Leon LDS Church building, 6925 N. 15th East, Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Wood Funeral Home, 273 N Ridge Ave. Interment will be at the Whitney Cemetery after a graveside service at 4 p.m.
We are grateful to medical providers who cared for him over the years and to friends and family for their outpouring of love and support. Most of all, we are grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who in His tender mercy, saw fit to end his test and bring him home.