Mona Benjamin passed away on August 4, 2022 in Nampa, Idaho, peacefully with close family at her side. Mona was born on December 20, 1937 in Whitehall, Montana to her parents, Harry Lancier (Mickey) Foster and Blanche Messier-Foster.
Mona was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Roger (Jack), Clyde, Melvin, Elmer (Mutt), Fred and Joe Foster, two husbands, Donald D. Henke and Donald L. Benjamin, and her daughter, Beth Lynelle Barr.
She is survived by four daughters: Cindy Arnoldus of LaGrande, Oregon; Jane Goode of LaGrande, Oregon; Gail Kurpgeweit of Scottsdale, Arizona; and Donna Benjamin of Meridian, Idaho. She is also survived by son-in-laws Carl Barr and Roben Arnoldus; nine beloved grandchildren (Alyssa, Austin, Brent, Benjamin, Brian, Bradley, Ashley, Kaitlyn and Madelyn); and nine great-grandchildren (Christian, Aiden, Ashton, Annarose, Daralyn, Raelee, Parker, Oliver and Harriet).
Mona graduated from Harrison High School in Harrison, Montana, class of 1955 and professed her faith in Jesus through ministers of her non-denominational Christian church, Dan Hilton and Lee Bjerke, of which she remained a faithful member until her passing.
In 1957, she married Donald Henke of Plentywood, Montana, and they had three children together (Cindy, Beth and Jane). She enjoyed living on the farm and cooking for the crews. After her husband passed away, Mona married Donald Benjamin in 1967 and they had two more children together (Gail and Donna). The family lived in Great Falls, Montana until 1978 when they moved to Spokane, Washington. She enjoyed having the family around the table for Sunday dinner, holidays and making her signature dish, oven-fried chicken, that everyone loved.
In her career, Mona worked as an operator for the telephone company in Helena, Montana, then later as a dispatcher for the Great Falls, Montana Police Department. Around 1970, she started a business in the health and wellness industry, first with Shaklee and later with the Neo-Life Company. She became one of their top distributors and loved teaching about nutrition and helping people build their own businesses and improve their health. She was an inspiration and mentor to many.
Her business allowed her to travel all around the world and build a substantial network of friends and colleagues, until 1992 when she was involved in a near-fatal car accident that left her disabled. She spent many years recovering from her injuries but was never able to regain her full mobility. She did, however, return to her business part-time and was able to travel and enjoy her grandchildren until she eventually moved into an assisted living facility, Orchards of Cascadia in Nampa, Idaho.
At the time of her passing, nurses and caregivers from the Orchards facility shared stories of how Mona would greet the other residents every morning and always had a joyful spirit. It was obvious she was dearly loved by her care team and residents while she was there, and her spirit left a lasting positive impact.
Mona’s funeral will be held at the Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel in Boise, Idaho on August 23, 2022 at 1:30 pm, with a luncheon reception immediately following. The service will also be livestreamed via the following link: www.aldenwaggoner.com/monabenjamin