Dr. Vern Bennett, 86, Fargo, ND, passed away Sunday, September 29, 2019 in his home surrounded by family and assisted by Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Vern was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Mable (Kunz) and Milton Bennett on July 26, 1933. The oldest of three children, he completed his primary and secondary education in Eau Claire and went on to college at the University of Eau Claire majoring in Geography and minoring in Education. There he met and married Betty Ulberg 66 years ago.
Vern was drafted into the Army, served in Fort Knox, Kentucky and in Germany where he was awarded a commendation.
After being discharged, Vern entered education as teacher/principal in Balsam Lake, WI and onto Superintendent in Bruce, WI.
After taking 2 years off to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota, he moved his family to River Falls, WI where he took the position of Superintendent and finished his dissertation graduating with a PhD in School Administration.
In 1971, he moved his family to Fargo, ND where he was superintendent of schools for a 28 year period.
While superintendent in Fargo, Vern started Woodrow Wilson alternative school and along with Bob Johnson, Warren Gullickson and creative teachers initiated Trollwood Performing Arts School. In addition, he has had the honor of having Bennett Elementary School named after him.
For many years, Vern could be found flipping pancakes for Kiwanis. He loved the Lord and attended the same Bible study group for 40 years, attended Bible Study Fellowship, watched and supported Jimmy Swaggart’s Ministries. He served as county commissioner, member of the board for the Fargo Dome and PRACs committee. He helped to bring Luis Palau and Billy Graham Crusades to Fargo.
Work was a hobby for Vern – he said he enjoyed every day he worked saying he loved serving people.
Vern is survived by his wife Betty, brother Erle (Shirley), sister Irene (Wayne) Hill, son Rick (Monika), daughter Julie (Maury) Scott, 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
There will be a private Celebration of Life service.
In lieu of flowers, the family will donate all memorials to the Fargo Public Schools Foundation, Dr. Vern Bennett Fund for Innovative Education.
Dr. Bennett’s final resting place will be in Eau Claire, WI.