Walter Hugh Bennett, Sr., husband of Minnie Margaret Bennett, was born February 26, 1938 to Howard and Alice Wade Bennett in Beaumont, Texas. He passed away on June 5, 2013, at age 75.
Walter was preceded in death by his wife, Minnie Margaret Bennett; parents, Howard and Alice Bennett; and brother, Phil Bennett.
Walter is survived by his son, Walter H. Bennett, Jr. of Huntsville and daughter-in-law Cynthia Bennett; grandchildren, Bradley Bennett, Ashley Bennett and Morgan Bennett of Huntsville; sisters, Betty R. O'Quinn and husband Bubba of College Station, Joann B. Burrell and husband Reggie of Cleveland; sister-in-law Wanda Roberson and husband Leonard of Goodrich; nieces and nephews, Dee Ann Cathy, Michael O'Quinn, Donna McCollum and husband Mark, Byron O'Quinn, Regina Findeisen and husband John, Andrea Hues and husband Tom; numerous great-nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews; and cousins, Veda Showers and Ttil Bianchi.
Walter grew up in Devers and graduated from Liberty High School in 1956. After high school, he attended Sam Houston State University and graduated in 1961 with a degree in Sociology. While attending Sam Houston State University, he met and married his wife of 50 years, Minnie Margaret Bennett, and had one child, Walter H. Bennett, Jr.
He continued his education at Sam Houston State University, and received an M.A. in Sociology in 1962. He then went to Mississippi State University, and received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1970.
Walter began his teaching career at Sam Houston State University as an instructor in the Sociology Department from 1962 to 1964. While working on his Doctorate from Mississippi State, he was a teaching and research assistant, and held a part-time faculty position. In 1970 Walter became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Sam Houston State University, and in 1973 accepted the position of Acting Chair of Sociology. From 1974 to 1994 he continued as Chair of the Department of Sociology. He retired from Sam Houston State University in 2010.
Walter was a distinguished member of the SHSU Sociology Department for more than forty years. He was the youngest faculty member appointed department chair in the history of the Sociology Department, and the chair who served the longest term. During his career at SHSU, he distinguished himself for his dedication to the University, the Department, its faculty and students. He received recognition in 2011 as a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Wall of Honor recipient.
Walter served a thirty-six year long teaching career through SHSU with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was able to observe of this tenure five hundred and twenty-two students within the TDCJ system proudly receive their SHSU diplomas in Sociology and minor's in Psychology. In recognition for his work in 2001, he was presented at the Wynn Unit graduation a Distinguished Service Award for 25 years of service as an educator in the TDCJ Institutions.
After retirement, he devoted his time to his grandchildren whom he dearly loved. He was also an active member throughout his life with the First United Methodist Church. He enjoyed spending time with family, special friends, former colleagues, and former students. He will be truly missed.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations may be made to: Walter and Minnie Bennett Scholarship Fund, University Advancement Office, SHSU Box 2537, Huntsville, Texas 77341 or a
Family will receive friends Friday, June 7, 2013, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Huntsville, Texas. Funeral services for Walter will be held Saturday, June 8, 2013, 10:00 a.m., at First United Methodist Church, 1016 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville, Texas with burial to follow at 1:00 p.m. at Conroe Memorial Park Cemetery in Conroe, Texas.
Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at www.shmfh.com