Cover photo for Sophia Benson's Obituary
Sophia Benson Profile Photo
2002 Sophia 2021

Sophia Benson

May 13, 2002 — February 19, 2021

Dear family, dear friends, and all who were touched by Sophia’s sunshine,

On Friday, February 19th, our beautiful, sweet, compassionate, lover-of-life Sophia “Peeps” Moore Benson took her last breath on this earth.  There are no words to describe the pain we feel, and we are left deeply brokenhearted at the loss of our precious Sophia.  If you knew her, you feel it too.  Sophia was on her way to the mountains for the weekend with a group of new, but already deeply cherished, college friends, when they were involved in a tragic car accident in the foothills of Colorado just outside of Denver.  By grace, her friends survived without serious physical injury.

Sophia was like sunshine.  Her smile was infectious.  She was always up for the next adventure.  She was the true life of the party.  She had a love and compassion for people and animals.  She was in awe and inspired by the natural beauty of this earth and the sky.   She inherited her Dad’s love of nature, and as a freshman at Colorado University, Boulder, she had just begun her work in Environmental Studies and Leadership.  Growing up, she would endure her Dad’s long portages in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, with a canoe on her shoulders, a heavy pack, in the pouring rain, without a single complaint.  In truth, she loved every moment of it.  She was a dancer.  She was a cabin girl.  She was a family girl.  She loved all her cousins with all her heart.  She had a deep connection with her grandparents, her aunts, and her uncles.  She was a friend girl.  She fiercely loved her friends.  She was a true Minnesota girl – kind and grounded.  But in Colorado she found her place too.  Like her favorite Minnesotans, she discovered “her people” with the Boulder Buffs and she couldn’t wait to develop long lasting and dear relationships.

Sophia was the picture of health, mentally and physically.  Music was her therapy.  She loved working-out and working hard.  She loved vegetarian food. She could easily glide from the hiking trails and the ski slopes with no makeup, to a decked-out night on Pearl Street in her colorful and bohemian clothes.  Most of all, more than anything in this world, Sophia loved connecting with all the people in her life.  She is universally described by her people as someone who brightened them up by her mere presence. That was her gift to us.

Quite honestly, we do not know how we will go on without her long hugs, her bright smile, and her boundless compassion.  We only know that we must try, like Sophia, to live life consciously.  To hike and ski and dance and notice the beauty around us while doing it. To say “yes” to every opportunity to enjoy this precious life.  To take the time to enjoy the sunrises and the sunsets we are offered each day and to look for the best in people and truly love each other deeply and with joy and not dwell on our faults.  She would want us all to linger in the mountains, at the beach, in the woods, by the campfire, and on the dance floor. To honor her and her life, we will.

Though we must accept her physical loss, her spirit is still with us, and our family will always be the “Benson Five”. We feel our Peeps is here, with us, and we look for the signs she is sending us.  We have heard reports of these signs from family and friends, feeling and sharing Sophia’s love, and her presence.  We feel her in the love and support we have received from the people in our life, and the people in her life.  Sophia was and is our angel, and we all know that she earned those wings!

Survived by her forever-mom, Bridget Moore Benson, her always-doting dad, Gregory Allyn Benson and her sister & best friend, Chloe, sweet brother, Griffin; grandparents, Tom “Poppy” and Kitty “Mimi” Moore, and David “Grandpa Dave” Benson; Aunt Sara (Moore) Olson and husband Eric; Uncle Mark Moore and wife Christy; Uncle Tommy Moore and wife Brittany; Uncle Mike Benson and wife Rebecca; Uncle Dave Benson and wife Paige; cherished cousins, Jack, Ellie, Will and Olivia Olson; Ava and Mason Moore; Charlotte and Nell Moore; Jack, Olivia and Charlotte Benson; Sam and Vivienne Benson; and sitter-turned-soul-sister Mackenzie McKinnon.  She was preceded in death by Patricia “Grandma Pat” Benson.  Sophia’s superpower was her deep and true connection to her friends and family, therefore she is survived by many more aching hearts: including so, so many friends from Marshall School, Duluth East High School, The Minnesota Dance Community, Camp Lake Hubert, CU Boulder, teachers, coaches, family friends, great aunts and uncles, second cousins, babysitters and children she babysat.  Sophia is a devoted dog lover and is survived by her pack, Cinderella, Oscar and Bruno.

A Celebration of Sophia’s Life service will be held in Duluth, near her beloved Lake Superior, at 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 27 at the Pier B Resort Hotel, 800 West Railroad St., Duluth, MN 55802.  Dress as Sophia would like to see you, but dress for a typical late-afternoon, February day in Duluth (warmly).  Mask required, please.

Due to COVID, we are concerned for everyone’s health and the capacity of the tent.  Proper safety protocol will be observed.  As an alternative to attending the service, you can watch a live stream of the event on YouTube.  Search: Sophia Benson Celebration of Life, or use this link You can share your photos of Sophia during the event at #this1is4soph.

Share your stories, memories and photos of Sophia at inmerori.  We thank you for loving our girl and sharing a part your life with her.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Sophia’s name to Animal Allies or Friends of the Boundary Waters

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 218-727-3555, please visit to sign the online guestbook.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Sophia Benson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 27, 2021

4:00 - 7:00pm

Pier B Resort, Railroad St, Duluth

800 W Railroad St, Duluth, MN 55802

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