David Bennett

David Bruce Bennett, 86, of Sweet Home died peaceably at home in the arms of his wife on Saturday, June 20. He was recovering from surgery for a brain cancer tumor.

He was born May 2, 1923 in Carlisle, Ark., to George and Ida (Caulkins) Bennett. At the age of 2, he moved with his parents to western Oklahoma, where he grew up and received his education, graduating from Colony High school in 1942.

While attending Cameron Junior College, he volunteered for Navy duty in early 1943. While serving in the South Pacific aboard the SubChaser 699 during the Battle at Biak, his ship was attacked by one of the first kamikaze planes, which crashed into the deck.

Mr. Bennett stayed aboard ship and assisted in throwing over the live ammunition so that it would not explode on the ship’s deck. For this, he received the Bronze Star Medal and a Presidential Citation signed by President Truman.

After returning from South Pacific Navy duty, he married his grade school sweetheart, Wilda Fullerton, on June 19, 1945 in San Diego.

As an Electrician’s Mate, Mr. Bennett worked on dismantling the ships until his discharge in 1946. He then worked for Marine Advisors with Jacques Cousteau to build aninstrument for measuring the speed of under-water currents during the deep dive into the Marianas Straits.

In later work with another firm, he worked with an engineer to design and build the locator to pin-point the landing site of the first space astronauts.

After that, he owned a pizza restaurant for a few years, and then returned to work as a construction electrician and he, Wilda and son Jim, moved to Sweet Home in 1973.

Mr. Bennett was a loving Christian family man, dearly loved and respected by his wife and daughters, and those who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his son, Jim in 1993; his parents; four brothers, Homer, Charles, Cliff and Paul; and two sisters, Letha Paden and Nita Joyner.

Mr. Bennett is survived by his wife of 64 years, Wilda; daughters, Linda and son-in-law Robert Hervig of San Diego, and Brenda and son-in-law Roger Kuchenbecker of Wasilla, Alaska; and many nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. Funeral Service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 25, also at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. Burial will be in Lewis Cemetery by the side of son Jim.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, where he was a member. Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.