Mildred J. Bennett
Nov. 20, 1921 - Oct. 14, 2012
Mildred J. Bennett, 90, was fully active until her death on Oct. 14 after a very short illness.
Born in Delaware, she moved with family to Houghton, MI where she graduated from Houghton HS. In 1943, she earned a BS in Home Economics from Purdue University and came to Berkeley by train to work at the Radiation Laboratory (now LBNL). Subsequently, she obtained her MS and Ph.D. in Nutrition Sciences from UC Berkeley. After marrying Edward Bennett in 1954, she raised a family while teaching and conducting research at Berkeley, UC Davis and Children's Hospital Oakland.
Millie was always active and had many interests, including attending concerts, gardening and flower arranging. She loved to decorate to make occasions festive, including the 90th birthday celebration for her husband and herself. She was a longtime member of the Berkeley Garden Club and organized many activities for the UC Berkeley Section Club (Birding and Walking). In the early 50's, she was a rock climbing pioneer: ascending the Grand Teton several times, and climbing in Yosemite and the Bugaboos. She enjoyed hiking, family backpacking trips, and skied into her 80's. Milly's Foot Pass, a rugged Sierra route, is named for her. She was a member of the Sierra Club for 63 yrs.
Early on she became a dedicated advocate for the preservation of Mono Lake, and sold raffle tickets to both raise funds for the Mono Lake Committee and awareness of the impacts on the lake of water diversion to Los Angeles. From 1985 - 1997, Millie initiated and organized 14 fundraising trips to seven continents and the arctic.
She is survived by her husband, children Keith, Reid and Anita, grandsons William, Oliver and Calvin, and her brother Douglas. Our beloved Millie will be missed by family and friends.
A celebration of life is planned.
In lieu of flowers: donations may be made to the Mono Lake Committee, P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541 or the Golden Gate Audubon Society, Berkeley, CA.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 21, 2012