1925 - 2009


ALTON B. BENNETT - 83 - Peoples Bank of Lakeland
LAKELAND - Alton B. Bennett, 83, of Lakeland passed away on Saturday morning, July 25, 2009, at Good Shepherd Hospice in Auburndale of complications of diabetes. He was born on November 6, 1925, in Warwick, GA to Jesse Mitchell and Ethel Murphy Bennett and came to Lakeland with his family when he was 10 years old. He attended John Cox Elementary and graduated from Lakeland High School.
 After high school he went into the U.S. Army Air Forces for 2 1/2 years serving in Labrador. He then graduated from Florida Southern College in 1950 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. Soon after college he went to work at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (Carpenter's Home) as their office manager. He then went to work at Peoples Bank of Lakeland in 1953 as a teller. In 1958 he was elected Auditor and during this time he attended the NABAC School at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1960. In 1960 he was elected Asst. VP and Auditor and in 1963 was elevated to Vice President and Comptroller. He served in that capacity until he was elected by the Board of Directors as Executive Vice President and Comptroller. In 1971 he was elected to the Board of Directors . In 1983 he was elected President of Peoples Bank. It was a special honor for it was the first time since 1936 that someone other than a McClurg was president. Before retiring in 1991, he served as Chairman of the Executive Committee. He was also active in many civic affairs serving as President of the Kiwanis Club and President of the Civitan Club and on various committees with the United Way and Florida Southern College. He was also active in the AIB Chapter serving as its President and the FBA Board of Directors and a member of the FBA Council.
 He was a family man and was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Dow Bennett. > He is survived by their three children, Susan Hedges and her husband Robert, Joe and his wife, Stevelyn and Gary and his wife, Patty, 7 grandchildren Jakob Bennett and wife Paula, Natalie Hedges Merritt and husband Jason, Robbie Hedges and wife Amanda, Mitchell Bennett, Serena Bennett Brenneman and husband Jacob, Jenna Bennett and Jared Bennett and 5 great-grandchildren: Caleb and Joshua Merritt, Charlene and Colby Bennett, and Brody Hedges.
 He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Norman and Murphy Mitchell Bennett and survived by one sister, Jeanette Shamrock. He is a lifetime member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church where he served as chairman of the finance committee. He loved to play golf and played as often as possible. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. with funeral services following at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 719 N. Massachusetts Ave., Lakeland, Florida (33801). Interment is at Oak Hill Burial Park, 4620 Hwy. 98 S, Lakeland FL. Donations may be made to Wesley Memorial Youth and Children's Group at the above address. –
 Ledger, July 27, 2009.

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