Dorothy Roberts Benson

Long-time Burbank resident, Dorothy Roberts Benson, or as she was known later in her life to her granddaughter, family and friends, “Gaga”, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on Monday, Jan. 14. 

Born in 1933 in Elgin, N.D., Dorothy received her bachelor’s degree in education from Dickenson State College in 1954. She continued her education at the University of Southern California from which she received her master’s degree in education in 1963.

Dorothy had started her career as a second grade teacher in Hettinger, N.D., when she met the love of her life, Donald Benson. They married in 1956 and were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006 before Don passed away.

As a Reading Resource and Curriculum Specialist, Dorothy worked in many different schools in the Burbank area including Miller, Stevenson, Roosevelt, McKinley, Washington, and St. Robert Bellarmine. She also worked on developing curricula for the Burbank and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. She touched many lives through tutoring in her post-retirement years.

Dorothy was involved with many different state and national organizations such as National Charity League, Delta Kappa Gamma, California Retired Teachers Association, and Phone-a-Friend for children alone after school in need of homework and emotional support.

Dorothy loved her friends, good food, socializing, enjoyed going to movies and plays, and watching college football and Laker games. She and had a sense of humor that left everyone with a good laugh and a smile.

Dorothy is survived, and will be greatly missed by her only daughter, Virginia Benson Wigle, her son-in-law, John, and her beloved grandchild, Ella Belle. She was a devoted aunt to Tom and wife, Marlene Roberts; Suzie and husband, Gary Roberts; Donnie and wife, Cindy Roberts; and Jeff and wife, Roxanne Roberts. She brought the gift of laughter to all of those lives she touched.

A Celebration of Life was held on Monday, Feb. 11, at 10 a.m. at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 133 North 5th Street, Burbank. Donations can be made to Delta Kappa Gamma, 1516 North Pepper St., Burbank, CA 91506.

The Hettinger High School was named for Dorothy’s father.