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Kathy was born on February 25, 1948 in Joliet, Illinois. She graduated as the Salutatorian from Lockport Central High School in 1966, and went on to Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL, graduating in 1970 with a B.A. degree in Music History and minor in Education. From 1970-1973 she taught fourth grade at the Milne Grove School in Lockport, receiving tenure. In June 1973 she married David Bennett, who she met at Lake Forest College. The couple then moved to Evanston, IL for Dave to pursue his MS at Northwestern. Between 1973 and 1975 she served as assistant to the Chair of the Program in Hospital and Health Services Administration at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. The couple moved to Rome, NY in 1975 where her two daughters Carol and Diane were born. In 1981, the family moved to Lincroft, NJ. Kathy was a member of Tower Hill, The First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank, NJ.

Kathy used her experience in education to support her daughters’ educations. While the girls were preschool age, she served as President of the Tower Hill Nursery School Board. As the girls grew older, she was an active volunteer in the Lincroft School PTA, becoming Treasurer both of the Lincroft School and the Thompson Middle School PTAs. During the “empty nest” years, she worked part time as an administrator at Meridian At Home, a provider of home health aides.

In 1992, Kathy joined the Fair Haven chapter of P.E.O., a Philanthropic Educational Organization that advances women’s education. She characteristically jumped right in and volunteered to fulfill a number of leadership positions. She was local chapter president, organized the New Jersey statewide P.E.O. convention in 1999, and served on the New Jersey State Chapter Board (a 7-year state leadership obligation overseeing 42 local chapters) ending as President of the State organization in 2006. She went on to volunteer as a trustee of the Educational Loan Foundation (ELF) P.E.O. International project, serving as board Chair from 2008-2010. Kathy was warmly welcomed into these roles as she served with care, wisdom and enthusiasm.

Kathy stayed close to her high school & college friends for life, despite not living near any of them. She went back to Lockport & Lake Forest for a number of reunions, including the celebration of 50 years on a Caribbean cruise with many of her high school classmates and their spouses.

Love of music stayed with her for her whole life. Her Hammond B3 “draw-bar” full pedal organ, a gift from her favorite Aunt Agnes when she was a teen, followed her from Lockport to Rome and then to Lincroft. Her mother-in-law Mary Ann Bennett gave her the family Baldwin baby grand piano that lovingly graces the Lincroft living room and served as the site of family holiday sing-alongs, piano lessons for her grandsons, and duets with Dave.

Many happy summers were spent at the Bennett family cottage in Point O’Woods, Fire Island NY, where she played tennis, enjoyed multi-generational friendships, and relaxed with her family. With Dave, Kathy enjoyed trips to destinations far and wide to places such as China, France, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, the Danube, Iceland, the Rhine, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the UK.

All of these were life activities. What was most important was the sparkle, enthusiasm and competence she brought to all those around her, tempered by love and caring for her family and those her life touched. She was a wonderful Mom to her girls, a loving wife to her husband and a great friend to everyone she worked and played with. She will be missed.

Kathy died on November 18, 2022 of complications from Lewy Body Dementia following a six-year battle. She was predeceased by both parents and her brother Jim, and is survived by her husband Dave; her daughter Carol (Lang) and husband Matt Lang, grandsons James, John and David Lang of Fair Haven, NJ; and daughter Diane (Fribance) and her husband Jeff Fribance and grandson Cameron Fribance of Myrtle Beach, SC.

A memorial service is planned for January 7, 2023. Friends and family will be received at 10:30am, followed by a service at 11:00am at the First Presbyterian Church of Red Bank, NJ. Thompson Memorial Home of Red Bank, NJ has been entrusted with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either:

Lewy Body Dementia Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, at this link- https://medicine.givenow.columbia.edu/?alloc=10584# and select “Lewy Body Research Fund” from the drop-down and note it is a gift in memory of Kathleen Bennett in the next line. To make a gift by check, please make payable to the Trustees of Columbia University, indicate “Lewy Body Dementia Research/ IHO Kathleen Bennett” on the memo line.

Mail to: Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Office of Development, Attn: Matt Reals, 516 West 168th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10032.

The Kathleen Bennett Fund, which provides need-based grants to women whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families. Make checks payable to the P.E.O. Foundation, indicateKathleen Bennett Fund” on the memo line.

Mail to: P.E.O. Foundation, Attn: Kathleen Bennett Fund, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312.

Donations to both organizations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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