Fair Haven has lost a woman who many have referred to as a treasure of an environmentalist, neighbor and friend whom will be memorialized on Saturday.
A memorial service for longtime, well-known and liked Fair Havenite Barbara Bennett, who passed away after a brief illness on Jan. 24, will be held at Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 31.
Barbara, who was predeceased by husband Derry Bennett, the former head of the American Littoral Society, was known as an avid environmentalist and Clean Ocean Action volunteer. She is also remembered fondly as a birder, gardener, painter of nature, reader, New York Times crossword puzzle , cook and jam-maker extraordonnaire, movie watcher, theatergoer, social worker, friend, neighbor, mom and grandma.
The Bennetts’ front lawn, uniquely flush with colorful perennials, sans the standard grass, was always a view this editor thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, many times a drive to Red Bank involved taking a detour past it just to brighten up the day. It always did the trick. Thanks for that!
” … our neighborhood and the Fair Haven community lost a feisty, energetic and profoundly caring woman,” Barbara and Derry’s neighbor Katy Badt Frissora said in a Facebook post the the Fair Haven page. “RIP Barbara Bennett.”
Born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1935, Barbara graduated from the Shipley School and attended the University of Pennsylvania and then went on to get her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and MSW from Rutgers University, her obituary said.
She married Derry, Derickson W. Bennett, in 1958. The couple had two children, Melanie and Rebecca, who they raised in upstate New York and in Fair Haven.
Barbara “worked as a dialysis social worker at Monmouth Medical Center in the early 1980s and volunteered with at-risk youth in a literacy program in the late 1980s.
She, in later years, became “a tireless volunteer with Clean Ocean Action and spent many years coordinating the annual Beach Sweeps events and editing the newsletter. She also was involved with the stewardship of Fair Haven Fields and volunteered with the Two River Theater,” her obituary said.
“One of her greatest joys was her beloved dog Jersey Girl. Barbara was a terrific cook and put up many a jar of Beach Plum and Spicy Peach jam to our delight.”
Barbara survived by: daughters Melanie Bennett, of Olympia, WA, and Rebecca Bennett, of Seattle, WA, and grandchildren Eric, Adrienne, and Galen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Clean Ocean Action, P.O. Box 505, Highlands, NJ 07732, the American Littoral Society, 18 Hartshorne Drive, Suite #1, Highlands, NJ 07732, and Lunch Break, P.O. Box 2215, Red Bank, NJ 07701.