By HDN Staff
Thelma Benson Turner, 98, died Friday, Dec. 28, 2001, at a Grand Junction, Colo., care center.
Her ashes will be interred with her husband in a Malta cemetery.
Thelma was born in Big Timber to Andrew B. and Serina Brown Benson on Aug. 20, 1903. She married Carl W. Turner of Sand Coulee on her 21st birthday at the Benson homestead near Melstone.
Thelma and her husband were lifelong educators, teaching in schools all over the state of Montana until settling in Phillips County, where they farmed and taught in Malta. Thelma was Blaine County superintendent of schools from 1947 through 1957.
Shortly after Carl's death in 1963, Thelma moved to Alberta, Canada, to teach school. Returning to Montana seven years later, she taught for a year and then at age 70, she joined the Peace Corps. This entailed travel to the Philippines to teach for two years. When she returned to Montana, she taught at Hutterite colonies in Glacier and Hill counties. Upon her retirement in 1989, she had been a teacher for 66 years.
Thelma was a life member of the MEA, NEA and Order of the Eastern Star. She was also active in Daughters of the Nile, Malta Women's Club, Delta Kappa Gamma and Sons of Norway, among others.
Thelma's family and all children and young people were her main interests. Former students have continued to correspond with her for many years.
Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, son, sister, brothers and son-in-law.
Survivors include her daughter, Inez Cassel; daughter-in-law, Emma Turner; nephew, Charlie Riebe; nine grandchildren; many great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions are suggested for a school scholarship in Blaine County and can be sent to Ms. Betty Nemetz, HC 71 Box 57, Chinook, MT 59523.