Lowell Dean Bennett

August 6, 1912 - March 12, 2005

Mr. Lowell Dean Bennett, age 92, of McKinney, Texas, passed away March 12, 2005, at his home. He was born August 6, 1912, in Garza, Texas, now Lake Dallas, Texas, to Ike and Clara Mae Phillips Bennett. He married Mildred Armstrong on August 27, 1939, in Cleburne, Texas. After graduating high school from North Texas Demonstration School, he attended North Texas State Teachers College in Denton where he received his B.S. in Economics and M. Ed. Degrees from North Texas State College. Mr. Bennett further advanced his education with advanced studies from the University of Colorado and Texas University. Dean began his educational career as a teacher in Farmers Valley from 1936-1938, and he later became an elementary principal in Big Spring, Texas from 1938-1944. His next assignment was in Midland, Texas where he taught Diversified Occupations from 1944-1946. He then returned to Big Spring as Elementary School's Supervisor. In 1954 Dean was hired to come to McKinney as elementary principal at West Ward Elementary, now Nell Burks Elementary, and he remained there as principal until his retirement in 1978. Dean was a member of four prestigious educational organizations during his 40 years career: National Education Association; Texas State Teachers Association where he served on the Executive Committee; National and State Principal Associations; and State and local Retired Teacher Associations where he held various offices and served on many committees. He was a member of The First United Methodist Church. Dean was a member of the Lion’s Club of McKinney for 63 years where he was a Lion longer than any other member of the McKinney Lions Club. During this time as a Lion, Dean received the JACK WIELCH FELLOW award for dedicated service to the children of the Texas Lion’s Club. He also operated the clock for all football games for 35 years. Dean is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mildred Bennett; a son, Michael Bennett of Forney; a son, David Bennett and his wife, Cathy of Houston; one grandson, Barry Bennett and his wife, Susan of Magnolia; a great granddaughter, Kylie Bennett; a great grandson, Colton Bennett, one sister, Helen Coon of Ft. Worth; one brother, Hershel Bennett of Duncanville, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and one sister. Not only did Dean Bennett love life to the fullest, but to say children were his life would be an understatement. He always had a smile on his face for every child he taught or met. On October 27, 2002, Dean and his wife, Mildred, were rewarded for their love of children and devotion to education of all children of McKinney when the Mildred and Dean Bennett Elementary School was dedicated in their honor. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Monday, March 14, 2005, in the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel with Rev. John Allen officiating. Interment will be at Ridgeview Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M., Sunday, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home.

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I had the pleasure of teaching at McKinney High School in the early 60's with Mrs. Bennett. My wife did her student teaching at West Ward while Mr. Bennett was Principal. In addition, David was my student for two years. I would like to extend my sympathy for the loss to the family. All of my memories of this outstanding family are so positive. Mr. Bennett's death is a great loss to the community as well as to his family and friends. Eldon G. Clary, Jr., March 15, 2005 When I began teaching, Mr. Bennett was my first principal at West Ward. He was a kind and caring man, and an inspiration to all his staff. After 34 years with McKinney ISD, I credit Dean Bennett and Vernell Henry (6th grade teacher) with the guidance of my professional career. Superb educators! Elizabeth (Stockard) Carter, March 14, 2005