Gorham farmer Edward “Eddie” Benson, 65, died of a heart attack  Sept. 24, one day after he and his wife’s 38th wedding anniversary.

“Losing Eddie unexpectedly was difficult for our entire family, but the outpouring of support is a testament to who he was to so many,” Becki Benson said in a statement to the American Journal.

The couple married on Sept. 23, 1984.

A 1975  graduate of  Gorham High School, Benson was the third generation on a sprawling Gorham farm founded by his grandfather Ed Young in 1918. Benson was widely known in state agriculture organizations and in the local community.

For a number of years, he and his wife carried on his family tradition of raising registered Holstein cows. They exported cattle to Newfoundland and Canada, and they marketed embryos from their cows in Europe and Japan.

Eddie and Becki Benson earned the New England Green Pastures Award in 2013. File photo

The Bensons and their farm were recognized with multiple awards through the years. They received the New England Green Pastures Award in 2013 presented at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts. The criteria for the award was quality of their cows, feeding program and stewardship of their land. They also were named Maine’s Outstanding Dairy Family that year as winners of the Maine Green Pastures Award through the Maine Dairy Promotion Board.


Since then, they sold their milking herd. The family diversified about 20 years ago when they established Benson Farm Earth Products to produce bagged compost products, including Surf n Turf.

The Bensons’ farm drew national news attention in 2016 when a deceased, 45-ton right whale was trucked to the farm for composting.

Becki Benson said her husband was a faithful and devoted husband, father and friend.

“He truly cared about this community and so many of the people in it,” she said. “We are so proud and thankful to share in his legacy. We love hearing stories and memories about Eddie from others and are happy to see them on social media and posted to the obituary.”

Posted tributes praise him as a local icon and recall his generosity and friendliness.

Gorham Town Councilor Suzanne Phillips said she grew up knowing Benson and had attended the same church, Stroudwater Christian Church in Portland. He was “an all-around great guy,” she said.

His obituary can be found at Visiting hours will be held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at Cressey Road Methodist Church, 81 Cressey Road, Gorham. A memorial service will be held at the church at  and 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1.


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