Mary E. Benson

Mary Elizabeth Benson, 83, of Laramie passed away on Friday, February 9, 2024, in Loveland, Colorado, surrounded by loved ones.  Mary was born on March 17, 1940, in Sundance, WY, to the late Ruth and Frank Fowlkes and later adopted by Henry Frank Pickerd.  She graduated from Belle Fourche High School in 1958 and married Ronald Joe Roberson the same year on May 26th.  They had five boys. They divorced in 1972.  On July 27, 1979, she married Terrence Gerald Benson for time in the Manti Temple and became the mother of Terry’s six children, and together welcomed one more son in 1981.  They were sealed for eternity in the Denver Temple on May 2, 1987. 

Mary was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in numerous callings.  She also loves hummingbirds, sewing, family history work, the color pink, baking, chocolate, and cherry coke.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Howard and Dee and sisters Shirley and Toy, her sons Justin and Glenn (wife Ann), her great granddaughter Emersen, and her son-in-law Eddie.  She is survived by her husband Terry, her children Geri, Monte (Gena), Gobi (Karen), Brooke, Becky (Jeffrey,) Clay (Tracy), TG (Rae Lynn), Sydra (David), Kara (Rafi), Aaron (Crystal) and 46 grandchildren and 52 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10AM on Friday, February 16, 2024, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  3311 Hayford Avenue, Laramie, WY. The family will receive friends from 9:00 – 9:30 AM on this day.   Funeral services can also be accessed via this link:


Mary Elizabeth Fowlkes was born March 17, 1940 in Sundance, WY to Ruth Genevieve and Frank Fowlkes.  She was named after both her grandmothers, Mary Florence Dale Fowlkes and Elizabeth May Shaw Hauber.   She had a half-brother named Chuck (Charles) Fowlkes with whom Mary developed a relationship later on in life and a younger half-brother named Howard Pickerd whom she loved very much.  She also had two half-sisters named Shirly and Toy Fowlkes.  Her mother, know as Mimi, married Henry Frank Pickerd, also known as Gramps, on August 17, 1946.  In Mary’s words, “all I know is Henry always treated me like his daughter.  He was good to me, provided for me and loved me.”  He adopted her on September 13, 1948.  Grandma and Grandpa Pickerd treated her as their own as well, and maybe picking choke cherries with grandma Pickerd is where Mary got her fetish for all things cherries…cherry coke, cherries in brownies, cherry pie.

In 1958, right after Mary graduated from Belle Fourche High School, she married Ron Roberson and was blessed with 5 baby boys.  Three weeks overdue, Glenn made Mary a mom for the first time.  Then she had LaMont (Monte), followed by Gobi, next her angel baby Justin and finally Clayton (Clay).  Mary’s boys were her pride and joy.  One of the hardest things she ever had to do was leave her baby Clay with the babysitter when she went to work for the railroad.  All Mary ever wanted was to be a mom. 

In 1972, Ron and Mary divorced.  Mary and the boys worked together to pick up the pieces…she would pick the boys up from school, then pick up a pile of newspapers and then they delivered them together.  Mary also babysat during the day and other odd jobs to make ends meet.  She started working at the University of Wyoming in 1972 and worked there until Nov 1976 as an accounting tech in the stores department when she quit to go work for the railroad in 1978.

At this same time, Mary’s Bishop Terry Benson suffered the loss of his wife Sandra to leukemia leaving him as a single father of 6 children. In Terry’s words he said, “I knew I needed a woman in my life and I thought Mary Roberson looked pretty good.” They had several children about the same age and TG and Clay happened to play on the same summer baseball team together.  One day, Terry noticed that Mary was playing with Kara so that he could watch TG.  He knew right then that she would be a good mother for his children.  He eventually asked Monte for permission to propose to Mary and Monte agreed.  They were married for time in the Manti Temple on July 27, 1979.  Together they had Aaron in August of 1981 and were later sealed together in the Denver Temple on May 2, 1987.  Mary spent the rest of her life rearing and loving these 11 kids with Terry.  Together, they have 46 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren

Mary’s other loves in her life are the ranch, chocolate, cherry coke, cookies, baking, sewing, geneology, serving others, trying to keep Terry in line, the color pink, hummingbirds, and her grandchildren.

Mary served the Lord diligently for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in numerous callings throughout her adult life.  She served as stake Relief Society President, stake Primary President, and a youth Sunday School teacher just to name a few.  Mary spent so much time in temple and family history work as well.  In a quote from her autobiography she said, “I know this work is important and those on the other side of the veil are directing and helping us with it.”  On February 9, 2024, Mary became part of the “those” on the other side of the veil.  Mary had the Savior beckoning her home and preparing her to leave us, but we could never have been prepared to lose her.  She is preceded in death by her mother and father, her brothers Howard and Dee and sisters Shirley and Toy, her children Justin and Glenn (wife Ann), her great grand-daughter Emersen and son-in-law Eddie. She is survived by her husband Terry, her children Geri, Monte (Gena), Gobi (Karen), Brooke, Becky (Jeffrey), Clay (Tracy), TG (Rae Lynn), Sydra (David), Kara (Rafi), Aaron (Crystal) and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and other family members.  We miss and love you, Mary Elizabeth Fowlkes Pickerd Roberson Benson! Until we meet again!

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Condolences (18)

  • Denice Melinkovich Varley

    Terry and Family, I loved and admired Mary so much. She was a beautiful and righteous woman and such a good example and friend to me. Please accept my sincere condolences. Denice Varley

  • Mike & Soana Fanoga

    Bro Benson and family, we are so sad to learn of your loss. Sister Benson will be remembered as a sweet, kind, and loving person. She will be missed by my family and me. Sending our love and aloha. Mike & Soana Fanoga

  • Clay and Mae Vanlandingham

    Sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. God bless and comfort the family in this time of sorrow.

  • Wayne & Toni Turcato

    We are so sad to learn of Mary’s passing. She was wonderful and we never saw her without a huge smile and kind words. Our deepest sympathy to all of you.

  • Torry Wilkinson Wilson

    To all the family, but especially to Gobi and Monte (I knew them best), We were saddened by the loss of Mary. She was such a strong lady and helped so many. I admired her strength as I know raising you boys on her own was not easy, and yet you all turned out really well. Hugs, love and prayers to you all as you go through this hard time together.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Torry. You probably wouldn’t believe how often I have thought about and wondered how you and Brad are doing over the last 40+ years. I had a friend in optometry school who was a companion of Brad’s on their missions. I thought and wondered about you then and many times since. Thank you for your note. Monte.

  • Anonymous

    Mary was a very sweet and kind soul. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Irene Oberholtzer

    You are all in our prayers. So many fond memories. Love Mel and Irene and family.

  • Deanne Richins

    So sorry for your loss. She was a great example and I hope your family feels the love we have for you❤️. Deanne Richins

  • Jamie Wilkinson

    Monte, Gobi, Clay and your families. Mary was always a lovely, kind person who made an impression from the first time I met her. I know she will be missed greatly! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May your many memories be a comfort to you.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Jamie. It feels weird to read your note when I never even knew when your mom passed and I loved her and I thought of her as a friend and I never even reached out to at that time. But, I very much appreciate this note you sent. I also got your message through Doug Carrico, which also surprised me. I never was aware you even knew him or he you. Monte.

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry. Mary was an amazing woman. I was happy that she was my friend and that we shared a love for Family History work. Sharon Phillpotts

  • Anonymous

    Mary was one of a kind sweet and totally lovely lady. The world is with out a great person but how wonderful it is that she is with the rest of all her family. May God bless you all …love Curtis and Ellen Hicks.

  • Flew Wilson

    Terry...I was so sorry to hear about Mary. I'm so glad that I saw you both earlier this season at a Cowgirls basketball game. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Flew

  • Dawn Deiss

    Terry, You and your family are in our thoughts and our prayers. Allory and Dawn Deiss

  • Thorval & Janet Jensen

    Sympathy to family of Mary Benson. My Husband always referred to Mary as his big sister when he knew her in Belle Fourche SD.

  • Beth Hulett Fly

    Clay & TG-I’m so very sorry for your loss 💔 Hugs to you and your family

  • Douglas Carrico

    Mary was a favorite of mine, always kind to me with that beautiful smile and kind heart.. she was a good friend to have and will be missed very much. She definitely made a nice difference in my life..


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