July 5, 1937 — May 27, 2021
A funeral service for Arlen Benschoter, 83, of Algona, was held Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Algona. Burial followed in Riverview Cemetery. Visitation was held at the Kossuth County Ag and Motorsports Museum. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Kossuth County Ag and Motorsports Museum in Arlen’s memory.
Arlen was almost a fourth of July baby but arrived the day after on July 5, 1937. He passed away May 27, in Algona.
He was the only child of Cliff and Violet Scuffham Benschoter. He was the 5th generation on the family farm northeast of Algona in Plum Creek Township. He attended country school through eighth grade and then graduated from Algona High School in 1955. He was active in 4-H and FFA growing up. Farmers Evening School was his way of continuing his education in farming. Like his father, he enjoyed bowling and for many years participated in league bowling. He was a trustee for Plum Creek Township for many years, his only venture into the world of elective office.
From day one Arlen was a farmer and fit right in with his Dad to carry on the farming tradition. Pioneer Seed Corn has been grown on the farm continuously since 1937. Thus you typically see Arlen in his green Pioneer hat and that special smile. While the hat is green, the equipment is IH red - tractors, combine, etc. He enjoyed visiting with local farm equipment, seed and fertilizer dealers to keep his farm going.
Cooking was not his thing but the beautiful kitchen in his Algona home was used once a year for many years when the Scuffham boys (Matt and Mark) would team up with him to prepare Christmas Eve dinner for the family. The majority of his meals, excluding breakfast, were eaten at McDonalds. He always enjoyed treats like homemade pie, cookies, dinners at church and ice cream.
Arlen would walk in for church at First Congregational United Church of Christ as the bell was ringing to claim his seat in the northwest corner of the sanctuary, more recently he was arriving earlier, maybe to make sure no one else got his seat. He gained a lifetime position on the property committee at church as his farmer know-how and knowledge in fixing things was very helpful. He would get to the farm daily to feed his 20+ cats. It kept him going to get out to the farm and check on things, even when the corn wasn’t growing.
Arlen got his first train as a Christmas gift from his parents when he was four or five and continued collecting them through the years. In 1995 he moved from the farm to a house in Algona and his collecting intensified. There were too many trains for the house which led in 2013 to the Benschoter Train Station at the Kossuth Ag and Motorsports Museum becoming a reality. Arlen and many helpers set up the Train Station. He enjoyed meeting and talking to visitors about the trains. The excitement of children was especially gratifying as they marveled at all the trains and scenery incorporated into the display. It is a wonderful gift to the community and a fitting memorial to Arlen.
Arlen is survived by cousins Leon Benschoter (Reba), Linda Frank, Dean (Cleo) Benschoter, Ruth (Jim) Park, John (Helen) Scuffham, and Rod (Rita) Scuffham.
Preceding him in death along with his parents were cousins Harriett Green, Bruce Benschoter, Jim Scuffham and Jan Scuffham.
Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made to www.oakcrestfuneralservices.com.