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William Ames BENNETT

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BENNETT, William Ames Feb. 14, 1921-Sept. 4, 2013

William Ames Bennett was born in Tallahassee, Florida on Feb. 14, 1921. Ames, as he was always called, spent the first part of his life in Fort Pierce, where he attended public schools, including Fort Pierce High School, playing trumpet in the school band. He graduated with the class of 1939, after winning a music scholarship to the Marion Military Institute in Alabama. From there he attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland with the class of 1945. Ames saw active duty with the U.S. Navy during the latter part of World War II as an instructor in Aircraft Communications at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, and also served in the Navy's Civil Engineering Corps. In 1959 he was retired to the U.S. Navy Retired Reserve. In August 1944 Ames married Bettye Myers of West Palm Beach, Florida. The couple moved to Gainesville, where Ames attended the University of Florida, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture degree in January of 1950. The couple moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where he served an internship with the renowned architectural firm of Treanor and Fatio. After becoming licensed as an architect in the State of Florida May 1953, he opened his own architectural firm in Palm Beach, maintaining a continuous practice until the time of his death. During his 60-year professional career, he capitalized on his experience with the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Yards and Docks to specialize in hurricane-resistant construction technology. In his professional practice, he was involved in the design and construction of over 4,000 commissions spread over the South Florida area and the Bahamas, including the 1962 master plan and several of the original buildings of the Florida Atlantic University campus, and the 1964 version of the Palm Beach International Airport. His portfolio also included many high-end residences in Palm Beach. Mr. Bennett was appointed to serve on the Town of Palm Beach Board of Adjustment and Appeals when it was founded in 1960, and continued to serve until the time of his death, often as its chairman. When the College of Architecture was opened at Florida Atlantic University in 1996, he was designated Guest Lecturer by then University President Anthony Cantanese. In 1997, the American Institute of Architects named him an Emeritus Member. Ames was a communicant of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for more than 50 years. He served a term on its Vestry, and was Usher Commission chairman for over 25 years. He was also an active member and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Palm Beach Rotary Club for more than 45 years, serving as 1965-66 Club President. For many years he was involved in Youth Baseball, coaching the Worth Avenue Merchants Little League team to the District Championship in 1975. Mr. Bennett was predeceased by his wife of 66 years Bettye, and his son William Ames Bennett Jr. He is survived by three daughters: Mrs. Lucy Smith (Gary) of Fayetteville, North Carolina; Mrs. Monnie Donnelley (Barney) of Palm Beach, Florida; and Mrs. Gina Gordon (Scott), of Palm Beach, Florida. Also, three sons: Zed Bennett, Lauch Bennett, and Duke Bennett (Sonja), all of West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Services will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach at 2:00 pm on Saturday September 14, with a reception following. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 211 Trinity Place, West Palm Beach, FL 33401. QUATTLEBAUM FUNERAL HOME, (561) 832-5171

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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Sept. 8 to Sept. 9, 2013
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