Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Dean Ernest Benson


Dean Ernest Benson

Dean Ernest Benson passed away March 15, 2021.

He was born on February 8, 1938, in Thermopolis, Wyo., to Gus and Nina Benson. The family lived near Meeteetsee until he was 6 years old. Many of the family's summers were spent on Hess Creek living in a sheep wagon or the Dickey Ranch where his dad was the sheep operation foreman managing 10,000 head of sheep. Dean played football at his high school in Thermopolis, Class of 1956. Dean attended the University of Wyoming where he met Corky and was part of the ROTC. They married in Laramie and moved to San Antonio and he later joined the Marines.  

He never met a stranger and was always willing to share his favorite cookie or donut. Duct tape and spray foam was his way to fix anything and everything. Every piece of wood, metal, or plastic could be repurposed, it was evident from his collection inside and outside his home, vehicles, and garage. Dad B would have his beloved deer, possums, coons, and vultures waiting patiently everyday outside the fence to be fed. He was a true outdoorsman that loved his plants as well. He would not even mow down a weed because he could find the beauty in it. If you knew him, he had a beautiful scenery picture to always share with you.

Dean's love for his family was undeniable. Family road trips were one of his favorite things. He always made historical sites a teaching opportunity and stressed the importance of enjoying a good snack along the way! He was passionate about annually attending his high school reunion in Wyoming and visiting friends and family in Colorado. "Howdy, Howdy", as Dad B would always say!

We have lost a husband, dad, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, neighbor, friend, and a proud officer of the Marine Corps. His smile, endless stories, pictures, patience, wacky ways, hard headedness, and enduring love for all will never be forgotten. Dean was larger than life, a Wyoming man with a Texas size heart. He touched so many lives, the world is never going to be the same without him. He enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. Anyone that knew him, knew his love for animals.

Dean is survived by his wife of 62 years, Carlee "Corky" "Boppi" Benson; children, Dina (Larry) Pyle, Alysa (Brian) Wilson, Amy (John) Hopkins, and Buck (Cyrena) Benson; grandchildren, Cody (Lindsey), Casey (Carly), Carly (Shane), Dustin, Cole, Anna (Daniel), Claire, Kathleen, and Curtis; great-grandchildren, Brody, Peyton, Caiden, Ellie, Bailey, Francie, and Eliza; siblings, Carol (Dick) Skerjanec and Betty (Jim) Haulman.

He is preceded in death by his sister, Joyce (Cliff) Stevens; and brother, Karl Thomann. 

In lieu of flowers we encourage donations to one of his favorite charities to help animals in need at the following websites: or


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