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Lola May Hibray Hartwig passed away peacefully, Jan. 18, 2019 after dealing with numerous medical conditions for several years. She was 94 years old. Lola was a former Clinton and Gordon, Nebraska resident for nearly sixty years and was more recently residing in Sherwood and McMinnville, Oregon after moving there in 2005 to be closer to her son’s family.
Lola was born May 7, 1924 along with a twin brother Arthur James. They were born in an old log house northwest of Martin, S.D. to Roy and Anna (Kline) Hibray, aided by a country doctor arriving by buggy. The Hibray family purchased a bare dryland farm in 1928 near Allen, S.D. In the spring of 1928 the family moved to their new home after her father built a house and barn. The one-room Allen School was 2 miles north of their farm, and she and her siblings had to walk to their school every day. Lola graduated from Bennett County High School in 1942, then graduated from The National School of Business in Rapid City a year later. She worked as a desk clerk and night auditor at the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City.
In 1944 she married Victor Geitz in Rapid City, S.D., gave birth to a son, Gary Lee, and divorced Victor in 1946. In 1947, she moved to Gordon, Nebraska. She met and married Samuel Benson, and Gary was adopted by Sam shortly afterwards. They lived on a farm in Clinton for about 10 years. During that time, she was elected Noble Grand of the Rebekah Lodge in 1955 in Gordon. Lola and Gary moved back to Gordon in 1961, and Lola and Sam were divorced shortly afterwards. In 1962, she worked with Brooke and Pat Hershey to establish Gordon’s United Methodist Youth Fellowship under the leadership of Reverend Byus. The Youth Fellowship was a fun and educational church group for teenagers. About the same time, Lola received her Cosmetology license and opened beauty shops in Merriman and Gordon.
In 1965, she married Robert Hartwig who later remodeled a small house next to their residence for a conveniently located beauty salon. She worked there until retiring in 1987. Both Robert and Lola enjoyed arrow head hunting in the Nebraska Sandhills and traveling across the country. Lola loved to do knitting projects and supported many church-related efforts in Clinton and Gordon. Robert Hartwig died in March 2001.
In 2005, she moved to Oregon to be near her son, Gary Benson. She enjoyed her independence at assisted living facilities in Sherwood and McMinnville, Oregon where she met many new friends.
Lola is survived by her son Gary Benson and daughter-in-law June, McMinnville, OR; twin brother Arthur Hibray, Harlan, Iowa; stepdaughter Jeanette Cole and husband Sidney (Buster), LaVista, NE; stepdaughter Janice Quinn and husband Dan, Spearfish, SD; stepson Greg Hartwig, Dahlgren, VA; granddaughter Sabrina Bunce, Waxahachie, TX; granddaughter Shanna Shipley, Sturgis, SD; granddaughter Megan Quinn, Spearfish, SD; two great grandchildren; and 7 nephews and 7 nieces who were very dear to her. She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Hartwig; sister, Wilbert (Sarah) Ogden; and brother Roy Hibray, Jr.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at the United Methodist Church in Gordon, Nebraska, followed immediately by interment at the Gordon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, make donations to the American Cancer Society or other cancer fighting organizations.