Obituary: Leontine H. Bennett


Leontine Bennett, 94, died April 7, 2011, in Carson City. She was born Dec. 31, 1916, in Billings, Mont., to William and Hazel (Harger) Girdwood. She was a Carson City resident for 44 years, moving here from El Cerrito, Calif., in 1967.

Leontine retired from the Carson City School District in 1978 as an English teacher and chairwoman of the Language Arts Department at Carson High School. Prior to that, she taught English at Richmond High School, Richmond, Calif. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master's degrees in English from UCLA.

After college she worked as a newspaper journalist. During this period Leontine met her future husband, Jack C. Bennett, whom she married in 1947 in Crescent City, Calif. The two shared many interests including reading, listening to music, exploring Nevada and doting on their cats. They were active in community affairs in Crescent City and especially enjoyed participating in the state fair and exposition. As skillful gardeners, they put together many prize-winning exhibits. They also enjoyed travel. During a special European trip Jack shared with her places he had experienced during his service as an Army master sergeant in World War II. On another adventure they visited the Orient by freighter. Jack, her life's companion, preceded her in death in April 1991.

In retirement Leontine remained active in her field through work with the State Department of Education and language testing companies. She continued to be amazingly well-read and enjoyed her two book clubs immensely. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Delta Chapter, an honor society for women educators. Leontine was also involved in Carson City Retired Teachers, The Heritage Society, and the League of Women Voters. For years she was a faithful volunteer at the Carson City Library, logging many hours.

Leontine is survived by a group of close friends that includes former students, colleagues, book club members, and library staff, all whose lives she touched and enriched. Some will remember her as a gifted, inspiring teacher. Her scholarship, openness, and sense of humor enhanced her ability to connect with students and fellow teachers alike. To others she was a caring mentor and listener. Her non-judgmental nature drew people of all ages and backgrounds to her. She will be missed as a good friend, always willing to share anything from gardening tips to political opinions.

At Leontine's request, there will be no services; however, those wishing to honor her may consider the following donations: Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., Carson City, NV 89701, in care of Director Sara Jones, noting the Leontine Bennett Memorial Fund; or St. Mary's Hospice, 520 W. 6th St., Reno, NV 89503. The many kindnesses extended to her by Mountain Springs Assisted Living Community and St. Mary's Hospice are much appreciated.

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