We are sad to announce the passing of Our Sweetheart, Mother, Grandmother, Sister and Friend,
Geraldine Mary Gertrude Verbeek Benson.
Geraldine was born September 23rd,1938 to proud parents Jerome Verbeek and Charlotte Cust Verbeek. The oldest of four children, she had two brothers, Bill and David, and a sister Yvonne. Geraldine is survived by Bill and Yvonne.
During her childhood, Geraldine’s family resided mostly in and around Fawcett, and Jarvie, Alberta, though they moved briefly to BC, only to return to the prairies.
In 1953, during the birth of her fifth child, Geraldine’s mother Charlotte, passed away due to cancer, along with her final child and third son, Allen Joseph Verbeek, who was unable to survive his birth. In the aftermath of these tragic losses, Geraldine’s life dramatically changed . She became a mother to her three younger siblings, learning fast anything she didn’t know. Despite being just fourteen, she had to bake bread, sew, can preserves, and could be responsible for and tend to their family farm while her father worked. Skills that she took great pleasure in teaching to her own daughters and granddaughters.
However, the biggest change of all followed in the spring of 1956, when Jerome moved his four children away from the familiar prarie of their childhood, to make a new home together far away in the mountains of British Columbia. Together, the family moved to Hazelton to begin their lives in the Kispiox Valley.
Geraldine first met Douglas Benson, the man who would become her husband, while on a double date with someone else. They were introduced on a train travelling between Terrace and Kitimat, and though he couldn’t leap tall buildings, he was able to change vehicles he was riding in, while they were moving down mainstreet in Terrace, and this handsome young stranger won her attention. He wouldn’t stay a stranger for too long, however; thirteen months later this handsome young man become her Superman for 58 years. They were married: September 7th 1957.
In 1958 Geraldine and Doug welcomed their first daughter, Debra into the world. A few years later, in 1964, Shelly was born.
Over the next five decades, Doug and Geraldine lived in many places, including Haida Gwaii, Whitehorse, Edmonton and Golden before settling permanently in Terrace.
In September 2015, Geraldine and Doug celebrated 58 years of life, love and marriage together. As of her birthday on the 23rd of September, Geraldine was 77. On September 28th Geraldine passed away in the company of her husband, Doug, her daughters Debra and Shelly, and her grandson, Benson.
She was a talented, comical, and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She will always be loved, and will be greatly missed.
Geraldine is Survived by husband Douglas Benson, daughters Debra Moon and Shelly McDaniel, sons in law Ted Moon and Rick McDaniel, grandchildren Blaine Evans (Virginia Evans), Shawn Evans, Douglas Swank (Jill Stephens) Andrea Swank, Benson McDaniel, Hazel McDaniel