Helen Snyder Bennett – Shelburne

Helen Snyder Bennett died July 22, 2012, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, at The Arbors in Shelburne. Born in Washington, DC, Aug. 11, 1921, she was the daughter of Samuel A. and Helen (Keifer) Snyder. She graduated from the University of Michigan. Helen was a devoted wife and life partner of her husband, J. Gordon Bennett, who predeceased her. Their first house was a chicken coop when Gordon was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station, where she learned to shoot a Colt 45. She rode in the co-pilot seat of a DC10 when he flew cargo as diverse as chorus girls, dynamite, and cattle to South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. She created a home for him and their two children in four states, as well as Paris, London, and Brussels. They considered their stateside home to be Old Greenwich, Conn. Fluent in French, she navigated markets in West Africa, where much of Gordon’s business would take him in the 1970s, or diplomatic dinners in Paris and Brussels with ease.

A keen observer of people, trends and cultures, she always found time to write about her experiences while living and working around the world. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Inc. Magazine, The New York Post, The Saturday Evening Post, as well as her local papers. One of her articles, “Two of Us Is One Too Many,” chronicled her and Gordon’s adjustment to his retirement (he went back to work). She wrote a monthly garden column in her local paper and published a children’s story, “Jack’s Amazing Magic Bed,” about a child’s flying hospital bed that took him all over New York City.

She is survived by her son, Stuart Bennett and his wife, Pati Naritomi, of Charlotte; daughter, Kathleen Bennett Bastis of New York City; grandchildren, Greg and Nick Bastis, Taka and Emiko Bennett; and sister, Marie Cookerly of Chestertown, Md. The family would like to thank The Arbors’ staff and two special caregivers, Joan Bennett (no relation) and Beth Alpert, for their loving care. She will be buried in a private family service in Nahant, Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Perrot Memorial Library, 90 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwich, CT 06870, or the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org.

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