Valdosta Daily Times


June 6, 2012

Harold Martin Bennett

- — Harold Martin Bennett, 97, passed away on June 4, 2012, in Valdosta. He was born in Mangum, Okla., on Feb. 3, 1915, to Lewis Irvin Bennett and Kate Martin Bennett. He had resided in Valdosta since 1947.

Mr. Bennett is survived by his wife, Virginia Bolen Pendleton Bennett; and children, George Harold (Martha) Bennett of Valdosta, John Reid (Helen) Bennett of Valdosta, Ann Bennett (Jim) Dowman of Te Puke, New Zealand; step children Leigh (Dennis) Smith of Valdosta and Jan (Scott) Pearlman of Atlanta. Surviving grandchildren are Reid (Kren) Bennett, John (Stephanie) Bennett, Sara (Bart) Schaffer, Christie (Jonas) Needleman, John (Heidi) Bennett Jr., Pamela Lee Smith, Adam (Cindy) Williams, Leyton (Cherie) Dowman, Mabry (Becky) Smith, Gini (Jack) Langdale, Matthew Smith, Helen Pendleton, Hannah Pendleton; and 19 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Bennett’s wife, Lee Medler Bennett, and stepson, Billy Pendleton Jr., predeceased him. He was the last of his siblings Mildred Kirkpatrick, Lewis Irving Bennett, Bernard B. Bennett, and Melvin Bennett to survive.

Upon graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in industrial engineering, Mr. Bennett worked with the American Creosoting Company until he joined The Langdale Company of Valdosta in 1947, where he served as the marketing vice president. He had a distinguished career in the wood preserving industry where he was recognized for his leadership and innovations. After his retirement, he dedicated his life energies to his church, family and community. He was an elder in the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where he taught Sunday School for more than 50 years, encouraging many young people to trust their intelligence and a loving God.

Mr. Bennett was a member of the Valdosta City Council, the Valdosta Rotary Club, the Lowndes County Historical Society and a founding member of the Valdosta Heritage Foundation. While serving on the City Council, Valdosta's Historic Preservation ordinance was established. He received many awards for his work in historic preservation and is considered the father of historic preservation in Valdosta. Bennett was a long-time student of the history of Valdosta and Lowndes County and served as a trustee of the Lowndes County Historical Society. With Mr. Bennett’s leadership as an avid supporter of education, the Lee M. Bennett Art Scholarship was founded at Valdosta State University.

The family would like to express sincere appreciation to United Hospice especially Tina Miller, Salista McCutchin and Charity Peregoy; the devoted staff of Heritage House and  special caregivers, Marci Gary, Elaine Ferguson, Angel Carter, and Angela Miller.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012, at 2 p.m. at First Christian Church at Patterson Street and Alden Avenue, Valdosta. The Rev. Chris Michael will officiate. Visitation will follow the service in the Church Fellowship Hall.

Donations may be made to the First Christian Church, the Lowndes County Historical Society, the Valdosta Heritage Foundation or the Lee M. Bennett Scholarship Fund at Valdosta State University.

Carson McLane Funeral Home is serving the family. Condolences may be conveyed online at  — Carson McLane Funeral Home

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