Paul A. Bennett, beloved father, and grandfather, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, to be with his Savior on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at the age of 90.
Lieutenant (jg) Paul A. Bennett, USNR, was born January 8, 1922 in Milnor, North Dakota. In 1941 he worked in California for North American Aviation, where he worked on the final assembly of the first ninety-five B-25 bombers built for the Army. He enlisted in the U. S. Navy early in 1942 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Paul served two tours of dutyas a carrier-based pilot in the Pacific with Composite Squadron 10 (VC 10),flying TBM Avenger torpedo bombers. His first tour was on the USS Gambier Bay, until it was sunk by enemy battleships during the battle of Leyte Gulf. For his heroic attacks on enemy ships during that battle, Paul was awarded the Silver Star and the Air Medal, and his squadron later received a Presidential Unit Citation.
He returned to college in 1946 and received a BSME from North Dakota State, was then appointed a Graduate Research Assistant at Purdue University, and received a MSME degree from Purdue in 1952.
While in college Paul married Ruth Lovas on December 28, 1946. They had 4 children. Randy (Carolyn) of Mt. Pleasant MI; Joyce (Don) Ross of Lansing MI; Cindy (Andy) Deveau of St. Johns MI; and Tim (Kris) of Spooner WI. They also had 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Paul is survived by his sisters, Alice (Don) Lee of Milner, ND and June Jorgenson of Lisbon, ND. Ruth Lorayne (Lovas) Bennett died on March 10, 2006, and son Randy in 2007.
After graduating from Purdue, Paul worked 45 years as an automotive engineer, improving the performance of petroleum products in internal combustion engines. His research resulted in a number of design changes. Most significant was his patent for developing the PCV valve, now standard emissions equipment on all cars world wide. His work earned him international recognition, and he was honored by his selection as an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Fellow. He also worked as a consultant to the U. S. Army, engine manufacturers, the petroleum industry, and served as an expert witness in several lawsuits, before his retirement in 1997.
Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 3, 2012 at St. Johns Lutheran Church, 511 E. Sturgis St. Johns with Rev. Dr. Bryan Salminen officiating. Interment will follow at South Bingham Cemetery with military honors provided by the St. Johns Honor Guard. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 pm Friday, March 2, 2012 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns 989-224-4422. Memorials may be made to the Bennett Endowment Fund at St. John Lutheran Church.