In Memory

Fred Bennett (Faculty)

On June 20, 1998, Fred Harris "Lefty" Bennett returned to "Father-in-Heaven," his body worn out, but his spirit and his smile, as always, bright and shining.

Lefty was born on March 12, 1920, the third child of Gladys Harris and Gilbert Gilfillan Bennett.  He graduated from South High School in 1937 and from the University of Utah in 1942; served in the U.S.  Navy during World War II.

He married Elaine Thorpe in 1945 in the Salt Lake Temple and attended Law School at the University of Utah, where he discovered his aptitude for teaching.  He received his teaching degree, and later his Masters Degree in History, from the University, and began teaching at East High School in 1948.

For 39 years (never taking a day of sick leave) he taught classes in Economics, Business Law, Constitutional Law, and Advanced Placement History.  He also served as Department Chairman, Sponsor for the Assembly Committee and Key Club, and Advisor to the Board of Control.

Although he received many awards and honors for outstanding teaching during his long career, more rewarding to him were the achievements of students whose minds he had opened and lives he had influenced, not only with his teaching, but with his patience, his kindness, and his concern for their growth and development.

A convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 21, he continued throughout his life to serve his "Father-in-Heaven" and his Church in many capacities, as a scoutmaster; basketball coach; counselor in three different bishoprics; as a leadership missionary, with his wife, in Liberty 8th Ward; and as a secretary to the High Priests Quorum in Mountain View II Ward, where he served faithfully; until he received his most recent calling--"Home to his Father."

He is survived by his wife, Elaine; and children, Fred G.  (Constance) Bennett, Encino, California; Michael T.  (Marlene) Bennett, Cedar City, Utah; Don L.  (Kriste) Bennett, Irvine, California; and Betsy (Van) Pilkington, Bountiful, Utah; a brother, Robert C.  (Jenny) Bennett; and sisters, Frances (Wallace) Mace; and Helen (John) Willard; 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

©Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 1998, page B7

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09/19/14 06:50 AM #1    

Edward Hunter

Fred Bennett was one of those few whose permanent facial expression was a genuine and welcoming smile to all who came within his view.  I felt I knew him and that he knew me years before I had him as a teacher.  Some people seem to enjoy frowning and developing a scowl on their faces, but Fred Bennett was an inspiration to me and many others simply by bearing a continuously cheerful countenance as he walked the halls of East High.  Hail!  Great knight of the Cheerful Countenance!  May you be richly rewarded in the eternities for the kindness that radiated from your face, your eyes and, perhaps best of all, your very soul.  We will remember you forever, Mr. Bennett.

03/11/15 10:32 PM #2    

Vickie Christiansen (Morgan)

Ed,  I fully agree with your description of Fred Bennett.  He had a light about him - so very kind.  He gave me a boost of confidence when I badly needed it.  Unfortunately I never did share that with him or thank him.  I mentioned it to his sons Fred and Mike years ago and hope that counts for something.

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