Cover photo for Willow  Rae Bense's Obituary
Willow  Rae Bense Profile Photo
2013 Willow 2022

Willow Rae Bense

November 15, 2013 — July 22, 2022

WILLOW RAE BENSE, age 8, passed away on Thursday, July 22, 2022.

Willow Rae Bense was born on November 15, 2013, at Immanuel St. Joseph Hospital in Mankato to John and Kelly (Nielsen) Bense. She resided in Waseca and Janesville with her parents and brothers: Jovah and Jack Bense. In 2018, HoneyRose Bense was born, and the young Bense family moved to the Janesville countryside.

Willow attended Head Start in Waseca, then kindergarten through 2nd grade at JWP elementary school in Janesville. Willow enjoyed all aspects of school, especially, Mathematics and Art. In crayon, marker, pencil, and paint, Willow colored and created her world. In every room there was pictures of family and wildlife. She decorated school and home alike. Butterflies and Unicorns were constant companions. Willow filled hours and pages with bright reflections. Much like Willow’s art, her smile and personality was full of light and vibrant energy. Friends and family meant everything to Willow, and she knew the value of being a good friend to others.

Summer was alive with days in the sun at the pool, and winter was for curling up in blankets and pillows watching movies and having lively long conversations. Dancing and singing are Willow’s favorite of all. She wrote and sang songs and choreographed moves for hours. Her dreams were of stars and stages. Willow recently began gymnastics and tumbling in Mankato, practicing everyday while cherishing her Monday evenings when she was able to meet with her teammates and coaches. Willow’s greatest gift was the love from her heart that she shared with us all. She will be missed by many.

Willow is survived by her parents, John and Kelly Bense; siblings: Jovah, Jack, and HoneyRose; grandparents: Jack and Terry Bense and Neil and Bonnie Neilsen; aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and many friends.

On July 21, 2022, Willow went to heaven to be received by God’s unfailing love.

Visitation will be from 3:00 – 7:00 PM on Friday, July 29, 2022, at the Janesville Chapel of Dennis-Steffel-Omtvedt Funeral Homes. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 30, 2022, at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Janesville with Father Brian Mulligan as Celebrant.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willow Rae Bense, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 29, 2022

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Ann's Catholic Church

Janesville, Minnesota 56048, MN 00000

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