Norman Douglas Bensen Sr., of Nokomis, went to be with the Lord Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, after his four-year battle with ALS.
He was born in Binghamton, N.Y., July 27, 1943 to the late Bernard and Margaret Bensen. He was the youngest of four brothers. He was preceded in death by his brother, Donald Bensen.
He was a loving, kind and generous man. Everyone who knew him loved him. He devoted his life to helping others. He was a faithful blood donor throughout his life, participated in the Mayo Clinic ALS multi-center collection of blood and spinal fluid research and, in death, he is donating his organs to the Mayo Clinic for ALS research.
Norman served in the New York State National Guard when he was young. He was a member of DeMolay, the Masons and the Shriners. He was a Shriner clown in New York and brought smiles to many children. He was a jester. He helped start the Venice DeMolay, and was a mentor to several young men. If you have ever been to a Venice parade, then you have seen him with the Shriners as a Keystone Kop on a funny bicycle.
Norman was also the treasurer of the Venice Triangle Inn; a board member of Exceptional Industries, now Loveland Center; treasurer for Venice Elementary School PTA; a board member of the Early Childhood Center; and an elder at Venice Presbyterian Church. He helped open The Green Butterfly. He was a longtime board member of Habitat for Humanity and served on the family selection committee.
He was a life-long banker known as the “mortgage man.” He worked at First National Bank of Venice, SunTrust, Guaranty Bank and the Bank of Venice. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, where he served on the church council.
He is survived by his loving wife, Susan; and his children and grandchildren: Kimberly, John and Elijah Jason; Norman Jr., Kimberly, Gwendolyn, Natasha Bensen and Nikkole Tanguay; Victoria, Jim, Casey, James Kozlowski and Addison Turkovics; Keith, Jaclyn, Isabelle Bensen and Monica Hurlburt; and Jim and Sandy Lowery, Derek, Amy, Anna and Sara Lowery. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Jean Will; and his siblings and nieces and nephews: Bernard, Sigrid, Brian Bensen and Kristin Bensen-Hause; and Lyle, Karen, Scott, Tim, Brent and Katrina Bensen
Services: A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 20, at Grace United Methodist Church, Venice.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to ALS Center at Mayo Clinic Florida — Research, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville FL 32224. Make checks payable to “Mayo Clinic” and please indicate “In memory of Norman Bensen” with your contribution. Or, you may give to Tampa Shriners Hospital for Children, 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa FL 33612-9411.