Benke, Alvina A. (nee Grembowski)
August 17, 1924 – March 23, 2016
Age 91, died peacefully on Wednesday, March 23 at St. Therese of Oxbow Lake in Brooklyn Park, MN. She was born August 17, 1924 in Argyle, Minnesota, the daughter of John and Emily Grembowski. Alvina and her husband of 59 years, Harry, lived and farmed in the rural Stephen area until 1986. In addition to farming, Alvina also worked outside the home as a waitress and as a seamstress with Artic Cat Industries. The last several years of their time in northwestern Minnesota included summers spent at their lakeside retreat located in Lake Bronson State Park. Many fond memories were created at “THE LAKE” for all who visited. After leaving the farm, they moved to the Minneapolis area and spent most of their remaining years living at the Waterford in Brooklyn Park. Alvina’s husband, Harry, and their son, Richard, both died in March of 2002. After Harry died, Alvina spent eight years volunteering at the North Memorial hospital. Alvina was a very kind, generous, and loving person, a woman of deep Catholic faith, who put her family first. She loved to play bingo and cards with family and friends, and she enjoyed an occasional trip to the casinos. Cooking and baking were a big part of her life, as were family gatherings. Alvina loved to feed people and it was impossible to stop by without eating something delicious and being given something to take home with you as well! Her quick wit, excellent memory, unending energy, her love for traveling to family and relatives or having them come to her and her pride in being fashionable along with having her hair and nails done, are “Alvina.” She will be missed very much. Alvina is survived by: Sons, Donald (Pauline) of Minnetonka, David (Mary) of St. Paul, Darrell of Dallas, TX, and Daughter, Darlene, of Phoenix, AZ. Two foster children, Joe and Agnes; Seven grandchildren: Blake, Derek, Scott, Michelle, Corey, Nicholas and Nathan; five great-grandsons: Max, Alex, Reese, Sullivan, and Mason; a great-granddaughter scheduled to arrive in May. A special BFF, Bessie Hawrysch; a Godchild, Brian Sjodin, who was always there for her; and many nieces and nephews, cousins, relatives and friends. Alvina is preceded in death by her siblings, Edward Grembowski, Ralph Grembowski, and Isabelle Sten. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, 7301 Bass Lake Road, Crystal, MN. The visitation will begin at 10:00 am at the church, one hour prior to Mass. Burial will take place on Friday, April 1, 2016 at 9:00 am in the Assumption Catholic Church Cemetery, Florian, MN. Memorial donations may be made to North Memorial Hospice Foundation, 3300 Oakdale Avenue North, Robbinsdale, MN 55442. Arrangements handled by St. Croix Professional Services.