Cover photo for Daniel "Dan" Stilwell Benjamin's Obituary
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1951 Daniel "dan" 2018

Daniel "Dan" Stilwell Benjamin

January 2, 1951 — July 31, 2018

Daniel "Dan" Benjamin of Rush City passed away Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul at the age of 67.

Daniel Stilwell Benjamin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 2, 1951 to Stilwell and Phyllis (Olson) Benjamin. That is where some stubbornness started making some walk the halls in anticipation. He was the oldest of six kids. Daniel, Karen, Murray, Todd, Lee, and Grant made up their brood. Dan had many adventures with his parents and siblings growing up.

Growing up in White Bear Lake, Dan attended Beach School, Lincoln Central, and Sunrise Junior High and graduated from White Bear Lake High School in 1969. He continued his education at St. Paul Vo-Tech earning a degree in drafting.

On June 22, 1974, Dan married Gail Gilson.  They had grown up together spending much of their time at the beach on White Bear Lake. They were able to have 44 years together as man and wife.  Dan was the father of three children: Chad (1977), Tonya (1981), and Rebekah (1988). Dan considered his children a blessing in soul, mind and life and he was proud of them and their families. To see his kids become parents was a blessing. Grandchildren were the energy in his heart and he had five: Hailey, Wyatt, Hayden, David (step-grandchild), and Elijah. He loved seeing them grow and being involved in all the activities they were in.

In his work journey with the recession in full force, he became a truck driver for his cousin Buck’s company. Dan’s truck driving took him to Colorado and then back to Minnesota. It also sparked his love for reading. He was an over the road truck driver for companies of Kohler, Sunflower, and Novco. With his drafting training he applied to his log books, he received praise for keeping the best log books! Dan then went for the opportunity to work for the Public Works in Chisago County where he worked on the maintenance team working heavy machinery. In the winter he had the challenge of snow plowing with early and late hours making it safe for others travels. He worked at the Harris shop until his retirement.

Dan found his journey in Christ in Colorado at Mt. Calvary in Fort Lupton where Pastor Blanco enlightened Daniel’s heart to become a servant of God. He loved being an elder, usher, and singing in the choir.

He was in Boy Scouts growing up and was a Webelo leader in Colorado working with his son Chad and others.

Dan loved to ride motorcycle with his best friend and brother-in-law Denny. They had a yearly ride to Ely.

Dan could take an engine apart and put it back together and it would work. He enjoyed the ability to help working on his kids vehicles. The last of his vehicles was his retirement truck. A red GMC Sierra crew cab that had to have enough room to bring the grandkids. The retirement truck made a trip to the west coast, Colorado and back to Minnesota. Dan and Gail found a joy in viewing the lighthouses along the coast.  The venture of traveling opened his eyes for more. New York City was a humbling adventure of viewing 9/11 rubble of ashes and hearing about the rescue of many. Dan and Gail celebrated their 40th anniversary by going to Duluth and enjoying an amazing harbor tour of Lake Superior.

Dan enjoyed helping his children with household needs too. He became quite good at googling and searching YouTube to help with solutions of how to do something on a project. His new remodeling projects spun off his visions of how it needed to be. He continued to impress his wife Gail and his family in his amazing accomplishments.

Dan lived for his family and friends. He enjoyed life to the fullest and was humble in his accomplishments.

Dan is survived by his wife Gail Benjamin of Rush City; children Chad (Susan) Benjamin of Shafer, Tonya (Nick) Smith of Rosemount, Rebekah (Nathan) Szczech of East Bethel; grandchildren Hailey, Wyatt and Hayden Benjamin, Elijah Smith, David Szczech; mother Phyllis Benjamin of White Bear Lake; siblings Karen (Nick) Beck of Lino Lakes, Murray (Judy) Benjamin of Washington State, Todd (Carol) Benjamin of Mahtomedi, Lee (Rodell) Benjamin of Hugo, Grant (Karen) Benjamin of Fargo, North Dakota; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his father Stilwell "Ben" Benjamin and brother-in-law Denny Morgenson.

Reverends Steve Tischer and Tim Renstrom will officiate at services for Dan: 2 PM; Friday, August 10th  with a time of visitation 1 hour prior to the service at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Rush City. 

Memorials may be directed to the family. 

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Dan Benjamin; long-time Chisago County Employee are entrusted to the:  Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City - Olson Chapel.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Daniel "Dan" Stilwell Benjamin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 10, 2018

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. John's Lutheran Church

980 W 4th St, Rush City, MN 55069

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, August 10, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. John's Lutheran Church

980 W 4th St, Rush City, MN 55069

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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