Louise Bennett

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2011

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas — Louise Moultrie Bowen Bennett, 93, of Farmers Branch, Texas, died Saturday, March 5, 2011, in Farmers Branch.

A memorial service will be scheduled for a later date in Natchez.

Louise will be buried beside her beloved husband, Thomas Waring Bennett Sr., at the Natchez National Cemetery.

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Mrs. Bennett was born June 3, 1917, in Macon, Ga., the daughter of Louise Margaret Napier and Orsamus Allan Bowen, also of Macon.

Louise was a 1935 graduate of Miller High School in Macon and a 1939 graduate of Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Va., where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Pilgrimage Garden Club, in Natchez. She had been a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church in Macon, and later in Natchez, where she taught a ladies’ Bible circle for a number of years.

She and Waring were married June 15, 1940, at the First Presbyterian Church in Macon. They lived in Macon until they moved to Natchez in 1959, where Waring was affiliated with City Bank and Trust Company. Upon moving to Natchez, Louise was a substitute teacher for a number of years in the Natchez public school system, a U.S. National Park Ranger on the Natchez Trace Parkway and a wonderful guide for the Pilgrimage Garden Club historic tours. She was the first female National Park Ranger in Mississippi.

She was always the environmentalist, recycling as much as she could, which was a passion for her. She encouraged a number of people to become environmentalists before it was ever fashionable. Of this she was most proud.

She was preceded in death by her husband and son-in-law, Kendall Steed of Farmers Branch.

Survivors include six children, Mathilde Bennett of Roanoke, Va., Maj. Thomas Waring “Buddy” Bennett, missing in action in North Vietnam, Jane Adger Bennett Skelton and husband, Mack, of Greenville, Pat Bennett Steed of Farmers Branch, William Walter Bennett and wife, Sonja, of Vandiver, Ala., and Bowen Bennett Johnson and husband, Jim, of Baldwin, Mo.; one sister, Elizabeth Walton Bowen Reichert and husband, Albert P., of Macon; seven grandchildren, Allan Bennett and Culver Bennett, both of Roanoke, Va., Kathleen Louise Skelton Chomel of San Marcos, Texas, Mitchell Bennett Skelton of Cleveland, Laura Steed Short of Pensacola, Fla., Clara Steed McDaniel of Hamstead, N.C., and Aaron Kendall Steed of Farmers Branch; and seven great-grandchildren.