Bennett, Wallace J.
Retired Lt. Col. Colonel Wallace J Bennett, 89, of Cross Plains and Arlington, passed away Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Arlington. Funeral: 2 p.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains. Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Higginbotham Funeral Home in Cross Plains.
Wallace was a retired U.S. Army chaplain, but was a man of many interests, vocations and talents. After retiring from the Army in 1969, he and his family settled in Arlington. He served as associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Euless for a year and a half. He was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for clients with drug addictions for Texas Rehabilitation Commission for eight years. He was a writer and editor of the Central Texas Conference page of the United Methodist Reporter newspaper for 13 years. His love of history led him to publish many articles for local magazines, including one on J. Frank Norris for the Dallas Times Herald Sunday magazine.
Wallace Bennett was a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He was born on Dec. 16, 1924, in Cottonwood. After graduating from CPHS in 1942, he obtained his father and mother's approval to join the armed forces even though he was underage. In the U.S. Navy, he served aboard a destroyer escort, the USS Brough, DE #148, and the ship escorted four convoys across the Atlantic. He was then assigned to a liaison group to sail with the British Pacific Fleet, and served on a troop transport, a headquarters ship, and two destroyers. He was discharged in 1945 and attended three years at Texas A&M University where he received a commission in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. At the start of the Cold War and before graduating, he was called to active duty. He saw duty in Washington, D.C., Fort Gordon, Ga., and then was assigned to Korea in 1950. Heeding a call to the ministry, after Korea he finished his degree at Texas Wesleyan College (now University) and attended Perkins School of Theology at SMU to obtain his master's of Divinity degree. He reentered the Army to serve as a chaplain for the last 12 years of his 27 years of service.
Wallace's first wife of nine years, Marjorie Jordan, of Cottonwood and Cross Plains, died when he began the ministry. Marjorie and Wallace had one son, Greg Bennett of Lakewood, Colo. Wallace and his surviving wife of 57 years, Carol, have four sons, Jeffery and wife, Mary, of Alpine, Bryan, and wife, Grace, of Cross Plains, John and wife, Michelle, of Arlington and Gary of Arlington.
After retiring from the Army, they lived in Arlington and Fort Worth until 2000, when they moved to Cottonwood, where he was born and grew up. Carol has returned to Arlington and will reside there. Wallace was preceded in death by brothers, Col. Frenchy D. Bennett and Arnett Bennett. Additional survivors include brother, John Franklin Bennett of Cross Plains; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; many wonderful nieces and nephews; brothers-in-law, Michael Turpin and wife, Brenda, Ron Turpin and wife, Fran; sister-in-law, Pam Crocker and husband, Mark; and many friends in the field of rehabilitation and in the United Methodist ministry.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Nov. 16, 2014
Photo from the Cross Plains Library