Esther Bennett

Last Updated on May 30th, 2014

Written by Paul Bomleny

Esther Vorena Bennett, formerly of Princeton, IL, died peacefully at Crestview Nursing and Rehab Center, West Branch, Iowa, on Monday, April 28, 2014.

Esther was born July 2, 1921 in Columbia, South Carolina to Samuel Ralston and Amanda (Templeton) Bennett. She is survived by her close friends Kay and Vyron Dever and several cousins. Her parents and her life companion, Hazel Crain, preceded her in death.

She was a 1938 graduate of Lee H. Edwards High School in Asheville, North Carolina and graduated in 1942 from WCUNC (now University of North Carolina at Greensboro) with a B.A. in biology and education. She received a certificate in museum training in 1949 from the Buffalo Museum of Science, a M.S. degree in Zoology and Botany from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, in 1953, and a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. in 1961. Her work experience was as a chemist, American Enka Rayon Corp., 1942-44; biology laboratory instructor, UNCG, 1944-48; curator of biology and education, SIU-C. Museum 1949-1963; and in Lincoln, Nebraska, assoc. ed. Wheat Abstracts, UNL, 1964, city naturalist and director of Chet Ager Nature Center, 1966-76, and Administrative Supervisor, Parks and Recreation Dept., 1976-1986.

Esther was listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest, 16th Edition. She was a member of a number of organizations including Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Inland Bird Banding Association, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Assn. of Interpretive Naturalists, Nebraska Ornithologists Union, and Southern Illinois Audubon Society.

A graveside service to celebrate Esther’s life will be held at 10:00 AM, on June 3rd, 2014, in Bureau, at the Greenwood Cemetery.

Arrangements are through Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton.