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Esther Bennett

Published: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:45 a.m. CST

WEST BRANCH, Iowa — Esther Vorena Bennett, formerly of Princeton, died peacefully at Crestview Nursing and Rehab Center, West Branch, Iowa, on Monday, April 28, 2014.

Esther was born July 2, 1921, in Columbia, S.C., to Samuel Ralston and Amanda (Templeton) Bennett.

She is survived by her close friends, Kay and Vyron Dever, and several cousins. Her parents and her life companion, Hazel Crain, preceded her in death.

She was a 1938 graduate of Lee H. Edwards High School in Asheville, N.C., and graduated in 1942 from WCUNC (now University of North Carolina at Greensboro) with a Bachelor of Arts in in Biology and Education. She received a certificate in museum training in 1949 from the Buffalo Museum of Science, a Master of Science degree in Zoology and Botany from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1953, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., in 1961.

Her work experience was as a chemist, American Enka Rayon Corp., 1942-44; biology laboratory instructor, UNCG, 1944-48; curator of biology and education, SIU-C. Museum 1949-1963; and in Lincoln, Neb., associate editor, Wheat Abstracts, UNL, 1964, city naturalist and director of Chet Ager Nature Center, 1966-76, and administrative supervisor, Parks and Recreation Department, 1976-1986.

Esther was listed in Who's Who in the Midwest, 16th Edition. She was a member of a number of organizations, including Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Inland Bird Banding Association, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Association of Interpretive Naturalists, Nebraska Ornithologists Union and Southern Illinois Audubon Society.

A graveside service to celebrate Esther's life will be held at a later date.

The Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.norbergfh.com.

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