James Bennett

James Edward Bennett, Jr. SCOTTSDALE, AZ - James Edward Bennett, Jr., 88, of Scottsdale, AZ, died peacefully at home on Friday, September 6, 2013. Jim was born to the late James Edward Bennett, Sr. and Elizabeth Markham Bennett on July 4, 1925 in Charlotte, NC. Jim and his sisters attended schools in Charlotte until they moved to the Newell area, then just outside Charlotte. Jim met his future wife, Kathryn Stroup, in 1936 in fifth grade at Newell School. Jim served in the Navy during WWII as an Electrician's Mate. He was serving on the USS Guadalcanal when it captured the only German submarine caught during WWII and he loved to tell stories about being in sick bay together with injured Germans after the battle. After the war Jim courted Kathryn and they were married in 1948 at Back Creek ARP Church where Kathryn's father, Dr. Paul A. Stroup, Sr., was the long time minister. After graduating from NC State in 1950 with a Civil Engineering degree, Jim and his family, which grew to include three children (Kathryn 1949, James 1952, Wayne 1957), moved around the US and around the world for Jim's engineering work on heavy construction projects. Jim loved to travel for both business and fun. Notable vacations included trips to Paris, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In the early years of his career, Jim worked in North Carolina, Richmond VA, Washington DC, Idaho Falls ID, Niagara Falls NY and Thailand. In 1964 he went to work for Harza Engineering, a noted consulting engineering firm in Chicago. The family settled for many years in Naperville IL while Jim continued to travel for business: to South America, the Middle East, Iceland and other locations. When his children were older, Jim and Kathryn moved to Jacksonville FL and then to Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia where he worked for Aramco from 1977-1985. In 1986 Jim returned to Harza in Chicago, eventually moving to Rome GA to work for Harza on the Rocky Mountain Hydro-Electric plant. While in Rome GA Jim was very active in the Presbyterian Church and the Exchange Club. Jim officially retired in Rome GA in 1994 but could not resist a call from Harza to work on a temporary assignment in China on Ertan dam in 1995. In 2003, Jim and Kathryn moved to Westminster Village in Scottsdale Arizona to be near their daughter. In recent years Jim started a website and newsletter for Harza Engineering Alumni and enjoyed reconnecting old friends and colleagues. Jim is survived by his wife Kathryn; sisters Edith Kirk of Concord, NC and Gloria McClintock of Charlotte; children Kathryn Bennett of Phoenix, James Bennett of Sunnyvale, CA and Wayne Bennett of Dallas; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, including James Edward Bennett the 5th of San Diego. Jim was interred at Valley Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 27th at 10:30 AM at Westminster Village in Scottsdale. Please send any memorial donations to Westminster Village Foundation, 12000 N. 90th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85260.

Published in Charlotte Observer on Sept. 22, 2013