Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert Earl Bennett, MSgt., USAF (Retired)
May 03, 1932 – June 25, 2009
Robert Earl Bennett
BIRTH 3 May 1932
DEATH 25 Jun 2009 (aged 77)
Sarasota National Cemetery
Sarasota, Sarasota County, Florida, USA
PLOT Section 8 Site 578
MEMORIAL ID 48395063 · View Source
MSGT US Air Force
CPL US Army
Robert E. Bennett, known as Jack all his life, passed away on June 25, 2009. He was born May 3, 1932, to Pete Bennett and Isabelle McKay, in a little logging camp in Wendling, Oregon.
Jack served in the Korean War (1950-1953) with the 187th Army Regimental Combat Team, a regiment of the 101st Airborne Division known as the Rakkasans.
Jack tried civilian life for a while but was drawn back to the military. He enlisted in the Air Force where he served with honor and distinction for 20 years earning many awards and medals, among them the Airman’s Medal for heroism. He would spend 11 of those years as an elite Para-rescue man on the Astronaut Recovery Team following them all over the world to cover them in case of an unscheduled splash down, to recover and give medical attention if needed. Later Para-rescue would be involved in Vietnam. Jack brought the first team into Vietnam to do recovery of downed pilots. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1973, Jack enrolled in Lane Community College, Oregon where he earned a 4.0 average to be on the President’s List and maintained a 3.5 average and was inducted into the Honor Society along with all the young kids. While doing that he opened a storm window business using a space age product, mylar, developed as a sun filter in space. His invention was later franchised in four states and Canada. Retiring in Cape Coral, FL in 1981, he soon fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a deep-sea fishing business. He earned a merchant marine 100 Ton Captains License and ran a replica of Thomas Edison’s electric launch where he enjoyed meeting visitors from all over the world and always had something in common with them from his many travels. Jack was a wonderful friend to all, he truly did believe no one was a stranger.
Surviving is his wife of 44 years Patti, sisters Dorothy Williams and Betty Vokcek – daughter Rayne (Mike) Funk, son Lane Morovics, grandchildren Monica, Aaron, Violet and great grandchildren Andrew and Hanna, all from Oregon. Many nieces and nephews, wonderful and caring neighbors – Marlene, Richard, Wende, P.J., buddies and two special nieces, who he loved dearly as his own and were always there.
Special thanks to Hope Hospice. Visitation will be from 6-8 PM Tuesday, June 30th with scripture services in the Coral Ridge Funeral Home, 1630 SW Pine Island Rd., Cape Coral. Burial with full military honors will be at 11:00 am on Wednesday at Sarasota National Cemetery. Please visit http://www.mem.com to leave written and voice acknowledgements and view a celebration of his life. Arrangements are by Coral Ridge Funeral Home, 239-283-0540.
Living by the Motto-
These things we do, that others may live.
As a SSgt., Robert served as Pararescueman on HH-43B/F helicopters in the Vietnam War with PARC, Det. 2(P) & 6 & 1 & 10 in the 1964/1965 timeframe.
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