Lynn R. Benson, who has served as Ventura’s Mayor since 2015, passed away Friday, March 23, 2018 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mason City.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at Cataldo Schott Funeral Chapel, 505 North Clark St., Forest City, Iowa with the Pastor Rod Hopp, of Immanuel Lutheran Church, officiating. A gathering of friends and family will be held one hour prior to the services at the funeral home on Saturday. Burial of cremains will be held at a later date.
The family invites everyone to join them for a celebration of life that will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. Saturday at the Ventura Community Center.
Back in 2015, Benson said he had never thought about running for office, but decided to take on the position of mayor in Ventura after Art Tesar resigned from the post. The Ventura City Council unanimously approved the appointment and he remained in office until the November General Election, when he was officially chosen by voters.
The Forest City native and retired business owner ran unopposed for re-election in November 2017. He received 114 votes (97.4 percent).
“Mayor Lynn Benson will be greatly missed. He had a quiet authority about him that few people possess,” said Else Taylor, Ventura city administrator. “He ran Ventura with integrity and had a great sense of humor.”
Councilman Dar Avery said he considered the mayor “a success story.”
“When he decided to be mayor he was already in (health) trouble and he really wanted to do it. He went on to finish out a term and then another. He ran again and it was amazing the amount of time he served,’ said Avery. “He was a mayor that really wanted to be a mayor. He could talk to and deal with anybody. A common, blue-collar guy. A real pleasure to work with.”
Clear Lake/Ventura Police Chief Pete Roth also shared his feelings about Benson’s passing.
“Mayor Benson was kind, personable, and served Ventura with distinction. He seemed to always smile. I will miss working with him.”
The Ventura City Council has 60 days to decide whether it will appoint a mayor or place the office on the ballot for voters to decide. Mayor Pro Tem Darwin Avery will continue presiding at Council meetings.