Virginia Phelps BennettPASCO - Virginia Phelps Bennett, 87, died on Jan. 31, 2004. She was born on June 14, 1916, in Cass Lake, Minn., where her mother taught school and her father ran the Trading Post on the Ojibwa Indian reservation.

Her family moved to Kelso when she was 6 years old, and she met her husband, Dallas, while attending Kelso High School. She attended Lower Columbia Junior College and the University of Washington where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi, majoring in chemistry and business. She and Dallas Bennett married in 1938, and she followed him to civil engineering jobs on air bases in Fairbanks and Kodiak, Alaska, until he left to join the U.S. Army in 1942.

Following the war, Mrs. Bennett raised a son and daughter while often working at her husband's side in his various jobs in the irrigation and manufacturing industries in Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. During later years, she and her husband were able to pursue their lifelong love of fishing, as well as a new interest in exploring local waterways and panning for gold.

From her late teens, Mrs. Bennett was an active member of PEO. She also held leadership positions in Opportunity Presbyterian Church (Spokane) and First Presbyterian Church (Nampa, Idaho) as Sunday school teacher, elder and deacon.

A resident of Pasco for the past 11 years, she joined her son, Dallas, as an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran in Kennewick. Her family deeply appreciates the loving support she and her family have received from her church community and from the Tri-Cities Chaplaincy Hospice during recent years.

Mrs. Bennett had been a lifelong visitor to the Long Beach Peninsula, where she and her husband kept a house, owned property, and operated businesses.

She was the loving mother of Severene (Robert) Bylin of Cupertino, Calif., and Dallas "Sandy" Bennett of Pasco; grandmother of Jon Eric Bylin of Woodinville, Melissa (Robert) Zamaroni of Sunnyvale, Calif., Richard 'Rick' (Nancy) Bennett of Caldwell, Idaho, Nicole (Mark) Busby of Auburn, Randall "Randy" (Tammy) Bennett of Ocean Park and Margaret Ramirez of Yakima; and 11 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death her husband of 53 years who died in 1991 while they resided in Nampa; by grandson, Matthew Bennett in 2001 and sister Patricia Branscom in 2002.

A memorial service was held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Kennewick on Feb. 7.

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