TALLMADGE -- Les Bennett, who passed away on November 4, 2012, was born August 7, 1922, in Janesville, Wisconsin, the eldest of Leslie J. and Ruth E. Bennett's four children. The family was musical so he began performing at an early age and really never stopped. After graduating from Ft. Atkinson High School, he attended Milton College for two years, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and piloted B-24's in the Pacific Theater. After his discharge, he attended the University of Wisconsin. Although earning a degree in Ag Engineering, he decided music was his true calling so he moved on to the University of Michigan before graduating from Eastern Michigan with a degree in Music Education. He then taught in various Michigan schools while earning a Master's Degree from Wayne State. He studied voice with Harold Haugh for many years and was a much sought after tenor.|
Later, he taught in Toledo, Ohio, before teaching choral music in Tallmadge, Ohio. He also directed choirs at St. Luke's Lutheran in Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge United Methodist Church.
A stroke in 1983 caused his retirement from teaching but he continued to organize Captain Brady Day and other activities in Brady Lake, Ohio; sing in the Brady Lake Shoretet; and participate in Portage County Retired Teachers Association. In 2011, he moved to KentRidge on Golden Pond where he made more friends. He was a member of Kent United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife, Karen and sister, Patricia Germain of Madison, Wis. He is also survived by his children, Laura Lee of Redmond, Wash., Leslie Ann of New York City, Jeff of Oakland, Calif., David of Phoenix, Ariz., Greg of Akron, Ohio, Brad of Stevensville, Md.; stepson, John Deem of Huntersville, N.C.; and nine grandchildren.
There will be private services with inurnment at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Kent United Methodist Church, 1435 E. Main, Kent, OH 44240 or to WKSU, 1613 E. Summit, Kent, OH 44242.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Nov. 6 to Nov. 7, 2012