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Philip P. Bennett

August 5, 1920 – November 6, 2004

The Portsmouth Herald, Monday, November 8, 2004

EPPING – Philip P. Bennett, 84, of 290 Calef Highway, died Saturday, Nov. 6, 2004, at Exeter Hospital after being stricken ill at his home.

He was born in Boston on Aug. 5, 1920, a son of the late James and Augusta T. (Olsson) Bennett.

Mr. Bennett was a graduate of Portsmouth High School and was the valedictorian of his class of 1938.

At the age of 19 he bought a used dump truck in hopes of getting a few jobs in hauling for local construction companies. In 1940 he landed his first job with a company that had been hired by the U.S. government to build submarine berths at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The job lasted a long time. You might even say – without exaggeration – it lasted a lifetime. For over 56 years he was employed by the Griffin Family Corporation of Portsmouth, the same company that hired him to haul gravel.

In 1942 he left to serve as crew chief with the Air Force for B-29 bombers in WW II. He served on the ground crew of the 504th Bomb Group. He was stationed on the small Pacific island of Tinian during the last year of the war with Japan. The air base became the largest in the world and was capable of getting 240 B-29 bombers in the air in 15 minutes. Mr. Bennett later returned to the service to fight in the Korean War, serving as chief of a ground crew that worked on B-36 bombers.

He returned from the service with mechanical skills that helped him earn a promotion from truck driver to field clerk and then grade foreman. At the age of 76 years old he retired, serving as the company’s office manager, retiring with 56 years of service in 1996.

He moved to Epping in 1987 coming from Hampton and was a member of the Hamptons American Legion Post 35. He attended the United Methodist Church in Hampton, was a passionate Boston Red Sox fan, enjoyed Bingo, scratch tickets, playing the accordion, harmonica and spoons.

He shared 39 years of marriage with his late wife, Marlene E. (Moore) Bennett, who died in 2001. He was also predeceased by a brother, James Bennett, Jr.

Family members include two sons, Kenneth A. Dronsfield and his wife Debbie of Oklahoma, and Robert G. Dronsfield and his wife Judi of North Hampton; four daughters, Terry L. Yeaton and her husband John, and Laurie A. Dufour and her husband Jon, all of Hampton, Sue E. Tufts of Berwick, Maine, and Beth T. Merola of Greenland; 15 grandchildren; 3 great-grandsons; and several nieces and nephews.

BENNETT – Philip P. Bennett, 84, of Epping, died Nov. 6, 2004. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited and may call at the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, 811 Lafayette Road, Hampton, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Burial will be in the High Street Cemetery, Hampton. Services will be held at the United Methodist Church, Hampton, at 11 a.m. Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the United Methodist Church, 525 Lafayette Road, Hampton, NH 03842 or to a charity of one’s choice.

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