Julie Benson

A livestream of the service will be available by accessing www.firstlutheran.tv

To view the flowers from Julie’s service, click here:  Julie Benson Flowers

Julie Rae (Kouba) Benson, 65, entered her heavenly home on September 2, 2021 in Minot, ND.

Julie was born to Ernest “Ernie” and Corrine (Linstad) Kouba on February 1, 1956, at Trinity Hospital in Minot, ND. Her family lived in Palermo until 1964 when they moved to Towner, ND.

She graduated from Towner High School in 1974 where she was active in any activity the school provided. She loved cheerleading, singing and being editor of the first colored yearbook. She was active in Zion Lutheran Church youth activities.

Julie attended Minot State University from 1974 – 1978. She graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Special Education and Elementary Education. At the university, Julie was active in student government, theater & the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She formed lifelong friends with this incredible group of young women. The sorority won the National Chapter of the year when Julie was the pledge guide.

She began her teaching career in Watford City, ND teaching students with disabilities from 1978 – 1979.  She transferred to Williston and taught students with intellectual disabilities from 1979 – 1982.

Tim and Julie were married on August 13, 1982 at First Lutheran Church in Minot.

She continued her career in October of 1982 at Erik Ramstad Middle School in Minot, ND teaching students with intellectual disabilities. After staying in the same position she loved, she reluctantly retired in May of 2019 after 41 years of teaching. The joke at Erik Ramstad was that there was a brick with her name on it somewhere in the building.

Julie truly enjoyed her profession and made lifelong friends with the people she met throughout her career.

Julie served at First Lutheran Church in Minot as the Parish Education Director for 15 years. This is a position she loved because she shared her spiritual and emotional connection with the youth and their families. Those connections have continued throughout the years. She called these young people “her babies.”

Julie lived life to the fullest with people who shared the same interests. She believed in community service and was accused of being a “pit bull with earrings” when it came to organizing events and activities that would benefit others. A group at Erik Ramstad she established was Circle of Friends. This group was students with and without life challenges that coordinated events that would benefit the community or school. Her motto for this group was “One Person, One Day, One Event” can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

She was on the Pathfinder Board of Directors for 8 years, and wrote Special Education alternate content standards and alternate assessments at the North Dakota State Level for 10 years.  She was in the Delta Kappa Gamma-NU Chapter Professional Educator Sorority.  She received the Golden Apple Award. She was awarded the YWCA Woman of Distinction in the area of Education in 2016.

She was very proud when Breanna was awarded the YWCA Young Woman of Today and Tomorrow in 2015.

This award was special to both of them because it recognized women who empower other women to become successful. She served on the MSU Alumni Board for 5 years and was the MSU Sigma Delta “mom” for 6 years.

Julie loved to help in any way with music and theater activities at Minot High School, Minot State University and the Mouse River Theater.       

Although Julie served in many various roles in her life, she received her favorite title on June 29, 2021: “Grandma”.  Her first grandchild, William Randall Keller, was born, and they formed an unbreakable bond.                                                          

Throughout her life, Julie’s mission was to be gracious, caring, understanding, respectful, love kids, help others and remember that family is truly what matters most. She was the most patient, loving, funny, and genuine wife, mother, and grandmother a family could have hoped for.

Her loving family includes: her mother, Corrine Kouba; her husband of 39 years, Tim; their daughter, Breanna JoCae & son in law, Brock Keller; and grandson, William Randall Keller.

Her brothers: Terry (Juliana Burckhard) Kouba, Dubuque, Iowa; and Kevin (Terri Jo Loock) Kouba, Milbank, SD.

Her extended family includes Calleyne Benson; Jodi & Rod Anderson; and Craig & Brenda Benson.

She dearly loved her nieces and nephews: Abby (Mark) Colvin; Jessica (Trevor) Deutmeyer,; Miranda (Quinn) O’Brien; Caitlin (Jai) Courter;  Loock (Courtney La Monda) Kouba;  Leah Kouba; Kellen (Amy) Kouba; Tamara St. Clair; Colby (April) Anderson; Codi (Chris) Ehlers; Natasha (Chad) Gartner; Charlsie (Brad) Burud; Jersey (Kayla) Benson.

Her grand nieces and nephews always made her smile. Vivian & Charlotte Colvin; Gabe, Henry & Juliana Deutmeyer; Thomas, Joseph, & Clara O’Brien; Mason Courter; Jack & Avree Olson; Kai Kouba; Jace, Wyatt, & Myles Anderson; Hudson & Hayes Ehlers; Aiden & Annika St. Clair; Carsen, Amiya & Chase Gartner; Jagger Swartwout, Kennedy & Laikyn Burud; and Jaren & Alaira Benson.

Her family also includes her aunts and uncles: Duane “Shorty” Kouba; Clayton (Avis) Linstad; Merlin (Ann) Linstad; Wayne (Claris) Linstad; Marilyn Linstad; and Judy Linstad & several cousins.

Julie is preceded in death by her father, Ernest Kouba; her parents-in-law, Richard and Elaine Benson; grandparents and several aunts & uncles.

In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church, Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports, YWCA Women’s Shelter and Trinity Cancer Care Center.

Visitation: Friday, September 10, 2021 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.

Celebration of the Life of Julie Benson: Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in First Lutheran Church, Minot. To view a livestream of the service use the link www.firstlutheran.tv

Immediately following the service, everyone is invited to join the family for lunch, fellowship, and sharing our favorite memories in the church fellowship hall.

Burial will take place at Rosehill Memorial Park after the lunch.




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