Friday, November 9, 2007

KC (Kirk) Benson

KC (Kirk) Benson, 48, died Sunday morning, Nov 4. He was blessed to pass peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loving family.

KC was born Dec. 22, 1958, in Malad, Idaho, the son of Clair S. Benson and Bobbe Brower Benson. One of KC's fondest memories of his childhood was saddling up an olive tree and riding for miles while eating his mom's homemade brownies. At 6 years of age, he moved to Nampa with his mom and two sisters, Danee and Cindy. Soon after, Bobbe married Dick Pullen, who had three children, and they became a family of six. Dick and Bobbe started a construction company and KC spent his summers learning the construction trade under the guidance of his step dad. He was educated in Nampa schools and graduated in 1977. During his school years, KC learned to ski and spent hours pursuing his goal of becoming an accomplished skier.

In 1980, KC married his high school sweetheart, Becky Snyder. His mother Bobbe once remarked that Becky was the only girl he was ever in love with. KC worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1984, KC and Becky moved from Nampa to Riggins where, with his parents as partners, he owned and operated the White Water Express rafting company. KC guided rafting and steelhead trips for five years, where he developed his love for the river. While living in Riggins, KC served as Chamber of Commerce president, promoting tourism in Riggins. They sold the river company in 1988 and moved to the Wood River Valley. This move also enabled KC to reconnect and continue his passion for skiing.

Conor was born in 1990 and Cookie was born in 1994. KC was completely devoted to his family. He supported his kids in any endeavor they wished to pursue, always encouraged them to explore new interests and was so very proud of them. He was equally supportive of his nieces and nephews and they all loved him dearly.

In 2001, the family went to Thailand and stayed for three months traveling throughout the country. In May of 2007, KC rowed his family down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, which was a wonderful 19-day adventure. KC was an accomplished river guide and taught his children to appreciate the wonder of nature.

KC worked in the building trades and was an artist and a craftsman. He was a perfectionist in everything he did and had high standards. KC designed and built two beautiful homes for his family and was in the process of designing a third when he became ill. He truly had a gift for creative design, which in recent years became his passion. KC was very generous with his time and talent and was willing to help friends and family at any time. He had a love for music, which he also enjoyed sharing. He possessed a quick wit with a sarcastic bent and was always the life of the party. In the battle of witty repartee, he rarely met a worthy sparring partner.

KC was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 14 and was gone within two and one half months. KC faced this devastating diagnosis with stoic dignity. He battled for and treasured every day, fighting the good fight. He managed to maintain his sense of humor throughout this ordeal, which helped to sustain both KC and his family. His courage and tenacity will always serve as an inspiration to those who knew and loved him. When he told others of his illness, he stated in classic KC style, "I have no complaints, I've had a great ride." KC left this world on his own terms. He moved to the next dimension with dignity and grace.

His father preceded KC in death. His wife and two children, mother, grandmother, stepfather, two sisters, stepbrother, four nieces, and his all-time favorite dog, Pointdexter, survive him.

Please join us for a celebration of KC's life Friday, Nov 9, at 1 p.m. at Cove Ranch, on Gannett Road, just south of Bellevue, Idaho.

The family wishes to thank RNs Carolyn, Leslie, Kristin and Kathy, and volunteers Mary, Ann and Leslie, all from Hospice of the Wood River Valley; Dr.s Hermann, Fairman and Law; Chemotherapy nurses/MSTI Boise; and the generosity, love and support of our friends and family. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Hospice of the Wood River Valley, PO Box 4320, Ketchum, ID, 83340.

KC, we are all so blessed to have had you with us in this life. You are the "juiciest" character we know and your great "ju ju" will live on. Toodles ...

Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel of Hailey, Idaho.

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