Bessie M. Bennett

WEST PARIS — Bessie May Bennett, 88, of Bethel, died Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 at Ledgeview Living Center.
She was born in her grandfather’s house at Rumford Corner on Dec. 24, 1922, the daughter of Carl Lee Heath and Winnie (Robinson) Heath. Soon after she was born, Bessie’s family moved to Waterford, where her father spent his youth and where his Stone and Hamlin ancestors had settled in the 1790s.
There, she attended schools at Waterford Flat, South Waterford and East Waterford, before returning to Rumford Corner, where she lived with her parents and three brothers while going to school at Rumford Point. She was a graduate of Stephens High School, Class of 1941.
On Aug. 14, 1941, she married Lester L. Bennett, who died at West Peru in July 1987. After her husband’s passing, she resided with her daughter’s family in West Peru until moving to Bethel in 1994. During her early married life, she worked at J.J. Newberry’s at Rumford Falls, later becoming a full-time housewife after her two children were born.
She also assisted in many ways with her husband’s business, Bennett’s Service Station, in the Virginia section of Rumford. Somewhat shy and introverted, she nevertheless always made friends and family welcome when they came to visit in Rumford or Bethel. A longtime volunteer at the Bethel Historical Society and an honorary member of that organization, she enjoyed gardening, reading and especially cooking.
Bessie is survived by her son, Randall of Bethel; a brother, Harold Heath of Livermore Falls; her two granddaughters; four great-grandchildren; plus several cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband; her daughter, Sandra Faye Mason; and her brothers, James Heath and Carl Heath Jr.
Online condolences may be shared with her family at
At the request of the family, there will be no funeral.
Donations in Bessie’s memory may be made to the Bethel Historical Society, P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217.
Arrangements are under the direction of Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Greenleaf Chapel, 37 Vernon Street, Bethel.

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