Frank William Bennett
Friends and Family are invited to celebrate the life of Frank William Bennett who died unexpectedly at his home in Lenox, Iowa, on Thursday, August 20, 2020, shortly before his 62nd birthday. Funeral services was Tuesday August 25th at the Lenox Community Center. Visitation was 3-7 PM service followed at 7PM. Masks and sanitizer will be available following current CDC guidelines. Memories may be shared at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may go to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association.
Frank was born on September 16th, to Paul G. and Rosa M. Bennett. His legacy is his integrity as a man, a strong faith in God, his humor, enthusiasm, and great kindness to family and friends. Sandwiched between two sisters, he frequently managed to tease them to distraction with a big grin! He grew up on a farm southeast of Lenox and was a 4-H member. Frank attended Lenox schools, proud to be a Lenox Tiger for football, wrestling, and track. Frank was a lifelong member of the Lenox United Methodist church.
Frank liked science and math, problem solving, and enjoyed building with his hands. Frank liked to travel. After high school, he bought an America Rail Pass to see the country before his enlistment date in the United States Air Force. He was based at Tyndall AFB in Florida and George AFB in California. After talking to the recruiters, he thought to be trained as an electrician. Instead they recognized his intelligence and calm control, directing him into using his technical skills and critical thinking to become an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist. He also served in military funeral Honor Details. After his first tour, he came home and completed the Carpentry & Building Trades program at the SW Community College in Creston. He worked building a few houses, however continuous jobs were few at that time, so he reenlisted. After his discharge, he worked in EOD/UXO and HazMat jobs. His employers changed as different civilian contracting companies gained bid awards. He served in positions from basic to supervisor. Much of the work was providing “detect, disarm, detonate and disposal’ of ordinance as part of Arial Bombing Range Clearance of duds/unexploded ordinance, and some additional hazardous materials work. He knew every kind of shell from casing to fuse and load. He worked frequently in California, Nevada and Oregon, keeping an apartment in the Victorville/ Barstow, CA, area when working near/on the Fort Irwin Training Range.
Sometimes with a month between contract assignments, he would ride his Suzuki 850 motorcycle to Iowa or to see buddies countrywide. He would help on farming, or repairs as needed by the folks. Or, he might choose a new experience such as visiting Alaska, borrowing his sister’s car with camping gear, and have a new ocean-to-mountain adventure. He also loved going to air shows and state fairs.
Frank never married. He much enjoyed visiting with multiple generations of his family and friends, sharing his keen attention and many interests. He was generous, with both his time and resources. Frank enjoyed good food, shared with others. He was a big guy, body and heart; in the last few years injuries and arthritic joint damage slowed him to walking with a limp, or aid of a big stick. Like a number of veterans, he vowed not to shave after finishing with the military, and so sported a big beard.
Frank was an avid reader of his Bible, and everything from mysteries & western novels, latest technology in cold climates building & farm/ranch machinery inventions , to money & finance. He frequently encouraged nieces, nephews and other young people to become financially literate, learn how to save-plan-invest, all in order to live well in the future and retirement.
Frank is survived by his brother Dave Bennett of Lenox/Brooks, IA; sister Pauline Bennett-Gannon of Fairbanks, AK; and sister Karen Heck (Evan) of Corydon, IA; aunts Liz Wilson of Glenwood, and Virginia Bennett of Creston; along with nieces and nephews including Lisa Johnson, Poe O’Conner, Glenna Gannon, Ian Gannon, Rowna Heck, Clayton Heck, James Robinson, Heather Avila, Jeff Mckauge, Chrystal Estel, good friend Jon Piercy, and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Rosa Bennett; and infant sister Floreta; Aunts and Uncles: Arthur & Grace Bennett, Roy Bennett, Alice & LL Siverly, Ruth & Bill Mott, Alice Rowe Springer, Gordon Wilson; and brother-in-law Brian Gannon.
Frank will be greatly missed by his entire family. The shared memories throughout the years and that easy-going grin and twinkly eyes will remain in our hearts forever.
Frank William Bennett