In loving memory of our friend and father Richard Warren Bennett. Born on October 20, 1934 in Danville, VA to Byrd Jennings and Edna Mae Bennett, Richard was the younger of two children. Following graduation from George Washington High School, Richard enlisted in the United States Army and served in Alaska with a unit that was constructing military air fields. Richard later attended VA Tech before starting work at Newport News Shipbuilding. Following graduation from The Apprentice School, Richard began work as a technician at NASA’s Langley Research Center. He worked for NASA Langley for nearly 40 years, first in Materials Processing and later as a Model Maker.
Richard always had an active personal life, running weekly ski trips to VA ski resorts for NASA employees and friends every Thursday during winter. This is where he met his first wife Kay Branscomb and adopted her infant daughter Joanna. Their son, Jonathan, soon followed. Richard was an eternal optimist and after his first marriage ended in divorce, later found the love of his life in Estella Gibbs. They remained together until her death in 2010. Even in retirement, Richard was very active in his bowling league, worked out at the NASA fitness center three times a week, attended services at Grace United Methodist Church, and served as a devoted member of the Warwick Masonic Lodge (#336). Richard also continued to be an avid skier into his mid-80’s. He skied every year with his son, and grandsons (Chase and Griffin Bennett) as well as his many friends.
Richard was recently preceded in death by his daughter, Joanna Burkhardt and is survived by his sister, Jean Bennett Clark; nieces, Tish and Diane Clark; niece, Gail Hummell; son, Jonathan Warren Bennett and wife, Amy; and grandsons, Chase and Griffin Bennett. A private memorial ceremony will be held at Grace UMC later this week. In lieu of flowers, we request friends consider donating to one of the many charities supported by the Masonic Grand Lodge of VA. (https://grandlodgeofvirginia.org/donations/)
A special thank you to Interim Hospice Nurses and Harmony at the Peninsula Senior Services for all his care and love.