Lea (Benz) Pfennig

September 16, 1927 ~ April 29, 2018 (age 90)

Lea Ida (Benz) Pfennig, 90, Beulah, passed away on April 29, 2018 at the Sakakawea Medical Center in Hazen, ND surrounded by her family.  Services will be held on Thursday May 3, 2018 at 10:00 am CDT at Zion Lutheran Church, Beulah, with Pastor Mary Lou Aune officiating.  Burial will follow in the Beulah City Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 pm CDT Wednesday at Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah, ND.

Lea was born north of Hazen on September 16, 1927. She was the last of ten children born to Mathias and Rosina (Morast) Benz.  She was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church north of Hazen. 

Lea was raised and educated north of Hazen.  On May 26, 1946, she married Helmuth Pfennig at the parsonage of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church north of Hazen.  Together they farmed north of Beulah for their entire married life.  Along with farming, Lea loved the outdoors, reading, quilting, embroidery, hunting, bird watching, cooking, baking, and spending time with her family; especially her twelve grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.  Lea also enjoyed traveling and had many special experiences while hunting and sightseeing all over the world. Lea and Helmuth opened The Pfennig Wildlife Museum in 1994, showcasing exhibits from their hunting travels. In retirement, Lea and Helmuth spent many mornings with their coffee group, enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation.

Lea and Helmuth were blessed this past year by her granddaughter, Heather Kessler, and Lea’s namesake, Lea Kessler, caring for them through health’s ups and downs, sharing so many fun times and making Lea’s last year a very special time. 

Lea is survived by her husband of 72 years, Helmuth; daughters Gwen (Danny) Dinkins, Glenda (Jeff) Schoch, Kathy (Bill) Wahl, Karen (Jim) Pundt, and Kaylen (John) Kessler; grandchildren Firm (Kristen) Dinkins, Kana (Lillian) Dinkins, Amy (Jeremy) Westman, Kelly (Kira) Melchior, Lisa (Scott) Ahlskog, Karla (Ryan) Hawke, Shanna (Josh) Haugen, Bobby Kessler, James (Jennifer Lyn) Kessler, Jennifer Kessler, Michelle (Clayton) Christie, and Heather Kessler;  one step-granddaughter, ShaLee (Justin) Decker; and 14 great-grandchildren.  Lea is also survived by one sister, Pauline Koehler, of Hazen, ND and many, very special nieces and nephews.

Lea was preceded in death by her parents, Mathias and Rosina; and siblings, Herbert Benz, Friedebert Benz, Erhard Benz, Henry Benz, Julius Benz, Lydia Hilz, Martha Reich, and Rose Benz.

The family requests that memorials be made to Zion Lutheran Church.

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