Our Lord Jesus called George Bennett, loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, to his side in Heaven on Friday, April 30, at 11:45 pm. George died at the age of 83, surrounded by his adoring and devoted wife who never left his side and by his children and grandchildren.|
George was born on January 1, 1927, in Brownsville, Texas, to Edward and Ciria Vidal Bennett. He had two brothers, William Bennett (Domitila) and Edward Bennett (Mary). He was married to Delia Gomez Bennett of Brownsville for 59 years. They had 6 children: George Jr., (Sylvia), Patricia Sutton (Roy Glenn), Richard (Norma), Ronald (Ann), Kathryn Casarez, and Lisa Morales (Richard). He was the proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren: Charlotte Estevanes (Renee), Donica Batres (Alex), Glenn Sutton (Elaine), Staci Sutton, Erin, Elizabeth and Emily Bennett, Melaney and Sean Bennett, Robert Casarez, Jr., and David, Daniella and Gabriella Morales and 7 great-grandchildren: Jared, Ian, Seth, Dominic and Aiden Estevanes, Devon Bennett and Bo Bennett-Marsh. He is survived by these and many other close family and friends.
George joined the U.S. Navy in January 1944, at the young age of 17. He served on the U.S.S. Alabama during World War II, where he manned one of its anti-aircraft guns through several major battles including the Battle of Saipan, Guam and the Philippine Sea. While tasked to protect Aircraft Carrier Task Forces from oncoming Japanese air attacks, the Alabama's gunners shot down 22 enemy aircraft. The U.S.S. Alabama would be decommissioned never having incurred any damage due to enemy action. In addition to his service in the Pacific Theatre in World War II, George also served for one year during the Korean War. He started his long career in law enforcement in 1948 when he joined the Brownsville Police Department. In 1955, George joined the U.S. Marshall's service at Edinburg, Texas. In 1962, he transferred to Laredo where he served as Deputy-In-Charge until his retirement in May 1981. Thereafter, he continued to serve the U.S. Federal Courts as a Court Security Officer.
As a U.S. Marshal, George played a part in several important American historical events. He escorted the first African American children to attend newly desegregated schools in Little Rock, Ark. George also escorted convicted Russian spy Col. Rudolph Abel in Edinburg, Texas. Col. Abel would later be exchanged with Francis Powers after he was shot down in his U-2 aircraft over Russian airspace. In 1974, George provided security to John Dean, White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon, during the course of Mr. Dean's key testimony at the Watergate conspirators trial. Although he had these and many other stories, he kept them close to his heart and only shared them occasionally with close family and friends.
Ever the athlete, his love of physical fitness started as a young man where he boxed professionally from 1946-1948. He completed his career with four early round knockouts, one draw and no losses. George maintained his athleticism throughout his life by jogging, competing successfully in the Senior Olympics and in many local races. He played flag football and later refereed high school football with a crew of close friends. Up until his eighties, he could be seen riding his bicycle for miles basking in Laredo's summer heat.
Although the family is saddened by this loss, they are comforted with their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the knowledge that George is now at peace in a better place surrounded by the love of our Lord.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Patrick Church where he spent every day in prayer in the Adoration Chapel or to the charity of your choice.
A rosary will be recited on Monday, May 3, 2010, at 7 p.m. in the Hillside Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. from Hillside Funeral Home to St. Patrick Catholic Church. Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction Hillside Funeral Home, 310 Hillside Rd., Laredo, TX
Published in Brownsville Herald on May 3, 2010