Hugh Bennett

Obituary of Hugh Frederick Bennett

Dr. Hugh Frederick Bennett passed away peacefully in Longmont, CO, on January 4, 2024, at the age of 92. Hugh was born July 17, 1931, in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and received a BS in Geology at University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1954. He enlisted in the US Army infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant (ROTC) and went on to complete ranger school at Ft. Benning, GA, and airborne school at Ft. Campbell, KY. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in 1956.

In 1956-1957, he joined the science team for the International Geophysical Year in Antarctica, wintered at Little America V and traversed the Ross Ice Shelf, during which he conducted a dangerous rescue of a colleague who had fallen into a deep crevasse. He returned to UW–Madison to begin his graduate studies in 1958, and commenced a long relationship with the cold regions of the world, conducting several geophysical surveys and research projects across Alaska, Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctica.

He met the love of his life, Catherine Falz, while in graduate school at UW–Madison. They were married in 1962, and moved to Okemos, Michigan, where he was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Geology at Michigan State University, and where he worked from 1966 to 1998, raising two boys, and retiring as Associate Professor.

Hugh was a loving and engaged father and husband. He had a deep and off-beat sense of humor, a passionate love of life, and was at heart an adventurer, taking the family on numerous camping, hiking and canoeing trips throughout the US. He was an avid photographer and tennis-player, and also loved a wide range of music, regularly attending arts performances and sporting events (especially MSU), and enjoyed travelling internationally. He had many friends and colleagues, and lived a long and meaningful life worth celebrating. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his two sons – Michael (Hayet) Bennett (New York) and Eric (Ali) Bennett (Colorado) – his granddaughter Teah Bennett and grandsons Alec and Dylan Bennett.

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