Eileen M. Bennett, 82: Devoted mom, retail worker always put others first

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YARMOUTH — Eileen “Pee-Wee” Mae Bennett, 82, died peacefully at Hawthorne House in Freeport on June 13, after a period of declining health.

Bennett was born in Portland on Dec. 6, 1932, a daughter of Dorothy (Duggan) and Thomas Wallace. Eileen graduated from South Portland High School, and soon after began work at Woolworth’s and then at Porteous, Mitchell & Braun.

Much later, she retired from another leading retailer, L.L. Bean Inc., after working for 15 years in customer service.

She met and married Frank “Bud” Bennett in 1956, and together the couple raised three children.

When she was 33, Eileen developed a paralysis that affected her for the rest of her life. Despite her physical limitation, she was a devoted stay-at-home mom who doted on her family, and shared a deep sense of selflessness and mutual respect with her husband.

When he died in 2001, she met the emotional and practical challenges, becoming independent and always maintaining her concern for others, first and foremost.

Early in life, Bennett was an avid bowler and swimmer, and later enjoyed attending her children’s hockey games, watching figure skating and spending time at the family camp, “Trail’s End,” in Beddington. The camp was a special place for Bennett, where many friendships were forged.

Bennett was a member of Chebeague United Methodist Church. 

She was predeceased by her daughter, Minnie Louise Bennett; her brother, Walter Wallace; and her sister, Sharon-Ann Smith Bosquette.

Bennett is survived by her son, Brenton Bennett, of Yarmouth, and his girlfriend, Allison White, of Milan, New Hampshire; her daughter, Brenda Colello, and her husband, Ernie, of Yarmouth; her grandchildren, Josh Colello and his fiancée, Crystal LaFrance, Cody Colello, Kyle Bennett, Brittany Farrington and Nicholas Bennett; her two great-grandchildren, Owen Colello and Callie Bennett; and her three brothers, Ernest F. Smith Jr., Kenneth E. Smith and Paul D. Smith.

A funeral was held June 18 at Lindquist Funeral Home, in Yarmouth, with burial on June 19 at Chebeague Island Cemetery.

For those who wish, memorial donations in Bennett’s name may be made to Hawthorne House, Activity Fund, 6 Old County Road, Freeport, ME 04032, or to Chebeague United Methodist Church, 258 North Road, Chebeague Island, ME 04017.

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