Cover photo for Carolyn E. tenBensel's Obituary
Carolyn E. tenBensel Profile Photo
1943 Carolyn 2023

Carolyn E. tenBensel

April 25, 1943 — November 25, 2023


Carolyn Elizabeth ten Bensel, age 80, of Arapahoe, Nebraska passed away on Saturday evening, November 25, 2023. Carolyn was born April 25, 1943, in Holdrege, Nebraska, to Gilbert and Agnes (Schutz) Leising.


She attended Trinity Lutheran parochial school and graduated from Arapahoe High School in 1961. After attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for one year, she married Larry ten Bensel at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Arapahoe, Nebraska on August 12, 1962. Larry and Carolyn moved immediately to the ten Bensel family farm, where she resided until her death. She was the consummate homemaker raising children, chickens, cats, and a huge garden. To this union three daughters were born, Regan, Julie, and Fran. 


Carolyn made a beautiful home for Larry and the girls and took pride in her perfectly tended yard, flowers, and garden. Her cellar was filled to the brim with colorful, canned vegetables, sauces, and jellies. Her children and grandchildren delighted in her dill pickles, among other items, and were always sent home with a box of canned goods or fresh produce.


Baptized, confirmed, and a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church, she shared her gift of music by playing in the handbell choir and accompanying the adult choir. She served as an organist, beginning in high school and playing for the last time on Sunday, November 19. She was also active in Trinity’s LWML, serving as an officer at both the local and zone levels. She spent hours preparing fabric for the sewing committee, working at the Arapahoe Mission Mall and scheduling Mall volunteers. 


She taught many young students, giving piano lessons in her home for nearly 30 years. She was also involved in the Valley Homemakers Extension Club with friends and neighbors. When her daughters were young, she volunteered as a 4-H leader, teaching many young girls to sew and bake. This talent was passed along to her granddaughters as well, each one sewing something with Grandma when they spent time on the farm each summer. During the grandsons’ visit, Grandma dutifully fried each day’s catch from the farm pond.


In addition, she was a valuable employee at TNT Farm Service, the Arapahoe Public Mirror, and State Farm Insurance. Following “retirement,” she fulfilled her nursing dream by working as a CNA at Good Samaritan Assisted Living in Arapahoe.


Carolyn was preceded in death by parents Gilbert and Agnes, in-laws Theodore and Frances ten Bensel; sister-in-law Linda (James) Leising; brother-in-laws Dr. Roger Horton, Charles Cookson, and Alvin Collins; nephew David Collins; and great niece Lindsey Collins. She is survived by Larry, her husband of 61 years; daughters Regan (Brent) Harsin of Syracuse, Nebraska, Julie (Brett) Wright, and Fran (Jeff) Benne of Lincoln, Nebraska; brothers James Leising of McKinney, Texas; Jerry (Vestey) Leising of Edmonds, Washington; Tom (Linda) Leising of Arapahoe; sister Barbara (Marv) Luke of Oxford; brother-in-law Dean (Wanda) ten Bensel of Arapahoe, sisters-in-law Ilene Collins and Virginia Cookson of Arapahoe; 11 grandchildren Haley Harsin, Tanner (Allie) Harsin, Peyton Harsin, Emily (Andrew) Sheridan, Megan (Blaine) Price, Derek Wright, Kelsey Wright, Josh Benne, Jake (Manuela) Benne, Jared Benne, and Sawyer Benne; great grandchildren Jack Sheridan, Claire Benne, and Graclyn Benne, as well as many nieces and nephews.


Funeral Service will be live streamed on Trinity Lutheran Church-Arapahoe, Nebraska Facebook page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carolyn E. tenBensel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 30, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Garey Funeral Home-Arapahoe

652 Main St., Arapahoe, NE 68922

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, December 1, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church Arapahoe

1005 9th St, Arapahoe, NE NE 68922

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, December 1, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1792

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree