Ellen Dixon Bennett

Passed away on November 12, 2011

Arrangements under the supervision of Chas. Peter Nagel Funeral Directors.

Ellen Dixon Bennett, age 86, died at Manor by the Sea in Ocean Grove, New Jersey on November 12, 2011. Ellen was born October 31, 1925 in New York, New York to the late Charles Waterbury Bennett II and Dorothy Dixon Keyser. She attended Hunter College, graduating in 1946. She taught and coached various sports at Brooklyn Friends School from 1950 until 1970, where she departed as the Girls’ Athletic Director. Ellen then taught at Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City, one of the top private schools in the country. Even after retiring, Ellen continued to devote her time to Nightingale-Bamford, volunteering in the library until 2006.

Ellen shared her time between her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment and her beach home in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. She was a lover of family history, tracing her lineage to the Revolutionary War through at least Pvt. Samuel Bennett of Monmouth, New Jersey. An avid traveler, she visited Jerusalem and Belgium in recent years. Ellen also enjoyed playing the violin and piano, but especially lifting her alto voice to God in the choirs of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association and the Rock Church, where she was a long-time and well-beloved member. Above all else, Ellen was a tireless student of scripture and servant of God.

Ellen is survived by her brother Charles Waterbury Bennett III, Staten Island, NY; niece Evangeline Fitzpatrick, Alameda, CA; and nephews Cameron Bennett, Manchester, NH, and Gregory Bennett, Alexandria, VA. Ellen also leaves behind her dear friend Anna Nichols of Ocean Grove, her beloved friends in Manhattan and Ocean Grove and the thousands of students and coworkers for whom she had such great affection and who remember her as a generous, amazing woman—one of a kind.

Please join us at Ellen’s viewing beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 17 at Chas. Peter Nagel Funeral Home, 352 East 87th Street, New York, NY 10128. Senior Pastor Reverend Roger Casey will lead funeral services at 1 p.m. at Rock Church, 153 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. She will be interred in the Keyser family plot in Saint John’s Cemetery (enter through the Oakland Cemetery gates), 2 Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers, New York 10701.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, 54 Pitman Avenue, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756 or Rock Church at the above address.

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Ellen was a very special woman and is recalled fondly by her former students and colleagues. Over my years in this position, I've had her former students, now grown women (often in or nearing retirement) tell me with a sense of wonder and awe, "Miss Bennett was my first idol," how much they appreciated early morning Bible study with her, or just that she was simply terrific. My few experiences with Ellen were wonderful, and I learned quickly that she was an inspiration on so many levels. All of us at Brooklyn Friends School are thinking of Ellen and her family and please know we are with you in spirit.

Susan Price '86 Director of Alumni/ae

Brooklyn Friends School

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Miss B. volunteered for over 12 years in the library of Nightingale-Bamford School, where she had taught for over two decades. She was an institution at the check-out desk in the Lower School, where she tirelessly checked out the books to all of the students, often noting that she had taught their mothers too! She was devoted to the girls and to the school. She was also in charge of overdue books, and tracked down all our lost books without fail. She knew Nightingale inside and out and everyone knew her. On her birthdays, the entire Lower School would always make her a BIG card and everyone gathered to sing Happy Birthday - ALL 250 of them! Until she left Nightingale, regardless of her health, she never missed going to the yearly graduations, where she took notes and sent congratulation cards to many of the students that won awards. She was a tireless cheerleader for the sports teams and enjoyed hearing about the badminton team. Out of love for Nightingale, she gave her time and energy to helping the next generation of girls get off to a good start.

Lois Strell

Lower School Librarian

The Nightingale-Bamford School


  • Visitation Thursday, November 17, 2011
  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ellen Dixon Bennett

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November 24, 2011

I got to know Ms. B at the Nightingale library in the early '00s. She always had a warm, enthusiastic smile and was a wonderful presence on the 3rd floor. She also met with us students at FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools) and shared her love of God. I will miss her very much. Thinking of her and wishing her family God's blessings.

November 18, 2011

Miss Bennett was a foundation of BFS in the heydey of the 60's and 70's. From instructing us on the embroidering of our names on our gym uniforms to patiently explaining to us the fine points of the rules of many a sport,field hockey to tennis, girls' basketball to lacrosse, Miss Bennett took her athletics seriously and always believed we could win no matter how hopeless the situation.Her engaging smile and warm disposition are firmly implanted in my memories of her and the empathy and kindness she exhibited as we blushingly
confronted the 'birds and bees' she taught to us in her hygiene class. So many 'growing up' points in time are connected to Miss B.
Mechele Flaum, BFS Class of '68

November 17, 2011

I was Ellen's piano teacher at The Diller-Quaille School for a number of years.
She was a delight to teach and I looked forward to her lessons every week. She was a kind and lovely person. My condolences to her family and the large network of students who loved her.
Rita Rack

Adrienne Hermann

November 16, 2011

When I think of Miss B, I think of a bright red flannel shirt, a whistle and lanyard, and admirably sturdy sneakers. And, because she was the only gym teacher I had ever known (I was a Friends student for 12 years), she essentially defined the profession for me. And what a fine definition she was: whether teaching elements of volley ball, la crosse, or even folk dancing, she was able to correct and inspire with absolute confidence (and she always made sure that the blinds in the "Rec Room" remained lowered). Miss B was an exceptional constant at Friends; I wish for her perfect peace and joy, and for her family and loved ones, comfort in knowing how many lives she affected with her patience, humor, and strength.

Deborah Bernstein

November 16, 2011

I had the privledge of knowing "Miss B" from 1960-1970 during her tenure as Girls Athletic Dector at Brooklyn Friends School. Her prowess and dignity infused her teaching. Small clumsy young girls grew into capable young women and learned the art of all sports including field hockey, lacrosse, soccor, basketball, softball, track and field and with help of Jo Dubois, tennis. If you were at all interested in a sport, you were automatically part of the team, as we were such a small school.
She brought her optimism and perspective of fairness to her teaching and helped us understand the role of teamwork and sportmanship. For some of us, she helped kindel a lifelong passion with physical activity and the psychological benefits of "blowing off steam".
I will never forget our trips to "field" two afternoons a week in spring and fall with Miss B and the lovely outdoor opportunities being there afforded city kids.
A most memorable, refined and dedicated person. Thank you Ellen for your care and teachings.
Deborah Bernstein BFS '71

November 16, 2011

I have only known Ellen for the last 10 summers as she visited with Anna Nichols in the tent next door. Ellen was a lover of books and she spent hours sitting on the front porch reading, except to greet pass-er-by-ers with a friendly hello or invite you to sit and chat a while. Always a pleasant and sweet lady. She will be missed, but never forgotten.
Janet Spano - Ocean Grove, NJ and Dallas, TX

November 16, 2011

I can picture Miss B in her tennis whites at NBS when the new schoolhouse was under construction. She was a stalwart example to me. I am glad I knew her.

November 15, 2011

I had the pleasure of being taught gym class by Miss Bennett in my first and her last year at Brooklyn Friends School, in the old building on Schermerhorn Street. She was a determined and devoted teacher and determined to get the best out of her students. We used to look forward to going out to the Field by bus for field hockey and other sports. She was a wonderful teacher and I was very sorry when she left. Thinking of her and wishing her Family and Friends God's Blessings.

D. Miller-Melia