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Harry Payne Bingham Jr.

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PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Harry Payne Bingham Jr., 92, of Palm Beach and formerly of Bennington, Vt., died Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2005, in Palm Beach. A seasonal resident of Florida since infancy, Mr. Bingham was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was the grandson of Charles William Bingham, an early settler of Palm Beach.

From his marriage to Lilla Fiske, which ended in divorce, he had two children, Harry Payne Bingham III, M.D., and Belinda Bingham Jewell Pierce, both of whom predeceased him. He then married Martha Kramer Gerry who died in 1993. In 1994, he married Helen Ramsdell de Bustamante, a long-term resident of Palm Beach.

A graduate of the Boeing School of Aviation, he served as a naval aviator in World War II and had been a pilot for Eastern Airlines. His clubs included the Everglades Club, Jupiter Island Club and Seminole Club in Florida. He was also a member of the Links and the Racquet and Tennis Club in New York City, among others.

A quiet and mostly anonymous philanthropist, he was a major benefactor of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington for many years and recently gave his Vermont home, Stone Gate Farm, to the hospital where the ambulatory care center is named in his honor. He had previously given his ranch in Stuart to the Audubon Society. With his family before him, he was a benefactor of the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., from which he graduated, and was a patron of Jupiter Medical Center and the Boy Scouts of America, among others.

He is survived by his widow; two grandchildren, Pliny Jewell IV (Elizabeth), and Lucinda Jewell Donohoe (Peter) both of the Boston area; three great-grandchildren; his son-in-law Dr. Gerald G. Pierce of Palm Beach Gardens; two sisters, Barbara Moore and Burks Lapham, both of Washington, D.C.; and two step-children, Robert Gerry III (Judy) of Houston and Nancy Gerry Bedford of Virginia.

Memorial services will be held in the spring at St. James Episcopal Church in Arlington, Vt.

For those who wish, memorial donations in Mr. Bingham’s memory may be made to “Helping Hands” at Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Ave., West Palm Beach, FL 33407.

To send e-mail condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Hanson Walbridge Arlington Chapel, Route 7A, Arlington.
Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2005
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