Iowans pay respect for fallen trooper

Motorists, residents, and members of the first responder and law enforcement communities gathered along the side of Interstate 35 and Highway 9 on Friday, waving flags and messages supporting Iowa State Trooper Ted Benda, as his funeral procession passed through the state.

Posted: Oct 23, 2021 12:39 AM
Updated: Oct 23, 2021 11:01 PM

WORTH COUNTY, Iowa - It's been said that when a law enforcement officer is killed, it isn't just any agency that loses an officer - it's an entire nation.

Motorists, residents, and members of the first responder and law enforcement communities gathered along the side of Interstate 35 on Friday, waving flags and messages supporting Iowa State Trooper Ted Benda, as his funeral procession passed through the state. Benda died on Wednesday from injuries he sustained during a crash while assisting on a call near Postville last week.

Just outside Hanlontown, the shoulders of Highway 9 were lined with members of law enforcement, ready to take the procession the rest of the way to Waukon, and residents of the small community where the Benda family called home when Ted was stationed at District 8 in Mason City.

The Benda famiy were close to Tony and Crystal Brower.

"I helped clean the parsonage house when they first moved in, and they started watching our kids," Crystal said.

"At the time, we were having trouble getting daycare. When were both working in Forest City early in the morning, we didn't have anyone to watch our kids. Holly and Ted stepped up to the plate. They've been great friends ever since," Tony said.

Tony recalls some memorable hunting moments.

"We did quite a bit of hunting, some turkey hunting over here. We finally got lucky one morning out here on the edge of town and got one. There's some stories, that's for sure."

The Brower's and Benda's children became fast friends as well.

"We got our kids together. We went walking, riding bikes. Ted and Holly and their two older daughters took both of our kids to the Fossil Quarry in Rockford for a day trip. They did lots of different things for us, and we did the same for them," Crystal said.

What the Browers remember about their friends more than anything else is their smiles like constant sunshine.

"Always happy, always smiling. I don't think there was ever a time I seen them with a frown on their face. Always smiling, always happy to help somebody do something," Tony said.

"Very caring," Crystal added.

Crystal's father Rick Scholbrock is the Mayor of Hanlontown. He recalls one time where Benda nearly wrote him a ticket because Scholbrock wasn't wearing his seatbelt, even though they were just chatting and Scholbrock was only half a block from home. The Mayor says Benda wasn't playing.

"That day, I gained a lot of respect for him. He was doing his job, and I respected him for that."

He also notes of Benda's beat, which was typically the nearby Interstate 35.

"He pulled a lot of people over at a very high rate of speed. The Interstate is my biggest concern. I have a fire department that heads to the Interstate daily, and I'm ultimately responsible for them. He was my concern every time he went out to the Interstate too."

Though the family would later relocate to Northeast Iowa, and Ted would be assigned to District 10, they would come back to Hanlontown frequently.

"They were a very valuable, loved part of our community."

As the fallen trooper passes through his old territory one last time, this small community is clearly aware the life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. 

"You're in our thoughts and prayers. You have been for a week, you will be forever," Scholbrock said.

"You're in our thoughts and prayers," Crystal said.

"We love you," Tony adds.

Benda is survived by his wife and their four daughters.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 895229

Reported Deaths: 9462
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Hennepin1749772017
Ramsey722701040
Dakota66032572
Anoka62513568
Washington39357355
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St. Louis28761399
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Otter Tail9611126
Benton8815124
Beltrami801794
Goodhue786596
Douglas7689100
Itasca752796
Mower721349
Winona702756
McLeod694483
Isanti681383
Steele669431
Morrison663479
Becker620873
Polk591684
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Nobles521654
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Mille Lacs516573
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Todd483642
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 520452

Reported Deaths: 7289
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Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Unassigned40470
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
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Hardin284353
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Page272533
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Iowa229634
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Lyon206142
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Calhoun196919
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