OBITUARY

Lehman Rube Bennett

December 21, 1930June 15, 2019
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Lehman R. Bennett, age 88, passed away in Mesquite, TX on Saturday, June 15, 2019. He was surrounded by his family; in the home and neighborhood he’d been a vital part of for over sixty years.

Born December 21, 1930 to Odis and Audie Bennett (nee Jackson) of Walnut Ridge, AR., Lehman grew up on the family farm and married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Moser on January 24, 1953. After serving in the United States Army from 1952-1954, the second year of which found him stationed in Germany, he and Wanda spent a short time living in Illinois before moving to Dallas, TX in in 1954. The Bennett family made a final move, to Mesquite, TX in 1957.

Lehman and Wanda welcomed two children into the world, Ronald and Vickie. They also helped bring life to St. Stephen United Methodist Church of Mesquite TX, as charter members. Lehman found his calling as “The Bread Man”, working as a route man and supervisor for Mrs. Baird’s for thirty years before retiring in 1994. After his retirement, Lehman spent his time working in the church, traveling the world, and helping his friends and neighbors. He was a quick with a smile, as well as a practical joke. He loved his family—both those to whom he was related and those he included by choice.

Lehman was preceded in death by his father, Odis Bennett; his mother, Audie (nee Jackson): and his sisters, Pauline Armelina and Pearline Hall. He is survived by his loving wife Wanda of the home; his son Ronald and wife Anna (nee Adams), their son John, all of Sawyer, OK, their three daughters, Jenny Bennett of St. Louis, MO, Mary Cunningham, husband Michael Cunningham, their four children, AnnaBeth, Meagan, Willa, and Bennett, all of Hanska, MN, and Juliana Bennett with her wife Kimberlie of Hugo, OK; and his daughter Vickie and husband Roy Fairbanks, along with their daughter Keila, all of Austin, TX.

Lehman is also fondly remembered by Wanda’s sisters Eloise Hall of Jonesboro, AR and Jeri Mulllen of Walnut Ridge, AR, along with a host of extended family and friends.

Visitation for Lehman Bennett will be held at Sparkman Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, from 6:00-8:00PM. Funeral services will be held at St. Stephen United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, June 19, followed by graveside services at Restland Cemetery. The family requests donations to St. Stephen UMC in lieu of flowers.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, June 18, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, June 19, 2019
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Memories

Lehman Rube Bennett

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Connie Rossi

June 18, 2019

Our neighborhood will never be the same without "Our Governor". We will miss him dearly. Driving past the house hasn't been the same since we don't see him sitting on the front porch.

Ray Rossi

June 18, 2019

Mr. Bennett:
Always ready to help his friends.
Do this don't do that.
Enjoyed his baked goods at Christmas.
Never ignored me when I had a need to know.
Helped me change my alternator.
He edged my sidewalk when I didn't have the tools to do it.
He was happy to see us make home improvements.
He had the largest collection of tools when we moved to the neighborhood.
My house looks good because he showed me what to do.
He looked after me. He knew I had no family when we moved in.
I'll miss our front porch talks

From Lehman's Granddaughter

June 18, 2019

When we lose someone, it feels like the world should stop spinning for a while. Like everyone should be able to feel that the universe just lost an incredible life. Unfortunately, the whole world didn’t know my grandpa, and as I sit here, I am overwhelmed trying to think of where to start when explaining what my grandpa was to me.
Grandpa was an easy man to like, easy to talk to, easy to love. I think of all the big memories…holidays, birthdays, special events...etc, but the ones that mean the most to me are the smaller things. My grandpa making his famous breakfast casserole at the condo on Mother’s Day. The way he got excited over strawberries that were marked down at the grocery store. Taking me to test drive my new car. The excitement on my little brother’s face when grandpa would let him rummage through the garage, which yielded many wooden ducks. The jars of lead dimes in his room. Getting excited to give him the new quarters we’d found to help him with his collection. His uncanny ability to make this cat noise that always made my baby brother erupt with laughter, and later my own daughter. His smile. My grandpa had the warmest smile. There are all these tiny little things that may seem insignificant, but they added up and made the grandpa that I am so fond of.
Of the many memories, and things I loved about my grandpa, the thing that sticks out the most is how proud he was of his family. He would tell me how proud he was of the life my dad had built. His pride when introducing his family to people was clearly visible. Every time I’d get off the phone with him, he would tell me he was proud of me, and even though I moved far away, and it broke his heart, he still let me know he was proud of me. I am, and always will be, grateful that I was blessed to get to have this man as my grandpa.
This seems so short. It doesn’t even scratch the surface for words that my grandpa deserves. Believe me, I could go on and on about my grandpa, and all the wonderful memories I have, but right now I just want to sit with those memories. I want to feel every hug, smell every smell, recall every smile, and remember the sound of his voice. And I want to hold onto all of it for as long as I can, because for a while, MY world has stopped spinning.



Keila Fairbanks

June 17, 2019

The joy and love Lehman shared with everyone around him is hard to forget and I'm certain will continue forward in everyone who has been lucky enough to know him. I have fond memories of spending my afternoons after school with Wanda and Lehman watching The Price is Right, making the best brownies, and selling many rolls of wrapping paper to the neighbors. Lehman was always there with his sweet goofy smile and a trick up his sleeve jumping out from behind doors and finding surprises to make you smile. I realized in my recent visits he shared this joy with anyone willing to receive it. Every neighbor around him he knew, had stories of their kids growing up, and helping them wherever he could. He treated everyone as if they were family and that kind of love for people is special. It is something I will always remember about him and I know will continue on. May he be in peace. Love, Keila

Anna Bennett

June 17, 2019

I could say a lot of things about Dad Bennett. I won't. I'll share a story, instead.

Some years ago, a family from Mexico moved in down the street. It was a rather large family with a number of children and their parents. The father worked a lot and was not able to be around much. The mother spoke no English and seemed reluctant to try. The kids did their best to fit into their new home and often turned to Lehman for help with everything from schoolwork to girlfriend issues. Over the years, Dad always took time to be there for all of them. The only criticism I ever heard him make was to say that the mother needed to try to learn at least a little English...in this age maybe not politically correct, but he wanted her to be able to move more freely in the neighborhood without always needing a translator.

Last night, the mother and a couple of the boys came over. She asked to see Lehman--in English. Ron welcomed her, and when she went to his bedside, she spoke to him, thanking him for all he'd done, in a few more sentences that she'd obviously spent a great deal of time perfecting. If he could hear her, I know he was at least smiling on the inside.

Dad, thank you. I'm glad I had the chance to know you these past 18 years. Rest now and we'll try to take up the slack.

Jeri Mullen

June 17, 2019

Today is a very sad time for me. My brother-in-law, Lehman Bennett, passed away last night. He was more like a brother to me because he married my sister when I was 5. Until I got married I spent a large part of my summers at their house in Mesquite, Texas. I had many relatives in Dallas, so someone was coming or going all the time. Thanks to Lehman and my sister, this little girl from the big city of Portia was exposed to museums and many other educational opportunities that I wouldn't have ordinarily. Lucky for me I was able to spend a very good week with him in May at their condo in Hot Springs. He was the only person that could last a lifetime with one of the Moser girls. He and my sister were married 66 years in January. My other sister and I couldn't find a man that tough. Believe me, it took a tough one and he was that tough. Please keep my family in your prayers as we try to survive this very emotional week. I also ask you to pry for me and Eloise to a have a safe trip to Mesquite and back.

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