Wesley H. Bennett Jr.
1936 – 2010
DURHAM — Wesley H. Bennett Jr., 73, died at home Tuesday, March 9, surrounded by loved ones after a brief illness.
He was born in Lewiston, April 13, 1936, to Wesley H. Bennett Sr. and Emma Hendricks Bennett. Known to family as “Junior,” he lived his teenage years at his grandparents farm on Upper Street in Turner.
At 17, he joined the Air Force and was a firefighter on an air base in Korea.
In 1961, he bought a small farm in Durham. In 1965, he married Irene Caldwell and together they raised their children Gary, Glen, twins, Billie and Bobbie and enjoyed occasional visits from Irene’s son Donny Gallant. He and Irene taught their children to be self-sufficient and generous to others.
After the military, he worked as a mechanic at several local businesses including RI Mitchell’s, W.D. Matthews, and RC Hazelton in Cumberland, where he later became an equipment salesman until he retired in 1999.
He took a lot of pride in his town of Durham. He served as selectman for 20 years, the last 15 of them as chairman. He tried to keep the small town atmosphere and taxes in check, while also helping the town grow.
During his free time, he enjoyed flying his plane from an airstrip he built on his land which is still maintained today. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Surviving are his loving stepmom, Elly Bennett of Auburn; two sisters, Barbara Hammerlind of Middlebury, Vt., and Debbie Hallowell of Auburn; a brother, Jeff of Gorham; two sons, Gary of Oxford and Glen of Durham; twin daughters, Billie of Durham and Bobbie Gregg of Buxton; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
He was predeceased by his parents; his wife; and his brother, Richard “Dick” Bennett Sr.