Pauline Ellen (Thomas) Benett (1935 - 2017)

  • "Dear Aunt Ellen may you rest in peace."
    - Kathy Toskin

On the morning of Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, Ellen Bennett went to her eternal rest. She was at home with her husband, Jim, daughter, Kathleen, dogs, Sadie and Maddie and cat, Mac, who had shared in her life and her love.

Pauline Ellen (Thompson) Bennett was born in Coweta, Oklahoma on Jan. 27, 1935 to James H. and Pauline E. Thompson. Two years later they were joined by Ellen's sister, Mary, who would be an integral part of her life for the next 75 years. The girls shared a strong sense of independence which grew along with them.

In December of 1952, Ellen and her fiance eloped to Arkansas. From that marriage came two of the greatest joys of Ellen's life, Robert Keith in 1954 and Karon Denise in 1956. The family traveled as her husband finished his education moving to Florida, when he went to work in the space program. Though that marriage ended in divorce, her love for her children remained a lifelong constant.

In 1973, with her children out of school, Ellen accepted Mary's invitation to join her in Juneau. The second half of her life was about to begin. On June 8, 1973 Ellen met Jim Bennett. Except for travel for work, grandchildren or family emergencies Ellen and Jim were seldom apart for the next 44 years. They were married on March 24, 1975 and celebrated their 42nd anniversary this year.

A joined family grew as Jim's children, James E. and Kathleen M., came to finish school with their second mom. Ellen's daughter, Karon, had daughters, Stephanie and Julie, Kathleen had a son, Seth, then granddaughter, Stephanie, had a daughter, Eva Ellen, and twin boys, Ethan and Noah.

Ellen's heart took them all in as mom, grand-mom and great-grand-mom. Most of them were able to join her in Disneyland in 2011 for her 36th anniversary with Jim.

Karon said, "She loved us with such a big heart. … She was so proud and happy to be a Grandma."

Jim told Stephanie, "Your grandma was easy to love, impossible to be superior to and incredible to share with."

We are blessed to have shared in the life of such a beautiful, intensely private, self-confident and independent woman. The family will gather in early June to place Ellen's ashes in the niche next to her sister Mary in Soldotna Community Memorial Park.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Kristin Mitchell for both treating and caring for this special woman.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Dec. 12, 2017