William Frederick Bennett
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William Frederick Bennett
  • January 23, 1927 - December 29, 2017
  • Lubbock, Texas

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Dr. William F. Bennett, Sr, Prof. Emeritus - Agronomy, Dept. of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University (TTU), passed peacefully from this earthly life on December 29, 2017. He was born in Plainview, AR, Jan 23, 1927 to Joe and Minnie Bennett and grew up with three sisters, Margaret, Joetta and Jean. He graduated as salutatorian from Wilburton High School in Oklahoma in 1945, and served in the US Air Corps in 1945-46 with the Army of Occupation in Germany. He married Millicent Boughton on Sept 15, 1950, and over the thirty years of their marriage, raised three children - Linda, Fred and Jackie. After losing Millicent to cancer in 1980, Bill married Audrey Newell in 1984.

Bill received his BS degree in Soil Science from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in 1950 and his MS (1952) and Ph D (1958) from Iowa State University (ISU). He dedicated his professional life to the Agricultural Industry, beginning as a Soil Chemist with Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, then moving to a Chief Agronomist role with Western Ammonia Corp in Dimmit, TX, and finally a thirty year career with Texas Tech University in the College of Agriculture Science (now College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources) in Lubbock, TX. There he served as a professor, Associate Dean of Agriculture Sciences and lastly Development Officer for the college, with responsibility for fund-raising and alumni affairs. Throughout his professional career he also worked closely with Texas plains farmers, assisting them with soils testing and crops fertility. His foreign experiences were numerous, consisting of consulting with King Ranch of Argentina; assisting Geoponics International in Guyana; representing TTU in Mexico; and supporting a CID project in Sahelian Africa - namely Niger.

Dr. Bennett was a member of several professional societies and served on many boards over his lifetime. Additionally, he authored or co-authored eighteen research papers and eight scientific books in his career, highlighted by Nutrient Deficiency and Toxicity Symptoms. Three of his books were translated into other languages - Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. After his retirement, he wrote three non-scientific books.
He has always considered his proudest achievements however, as serving as a teacher and mentor to thousands of students that crossed through his office and classroom doors at Texas Tech, and of course, a loving Dad, Pop and G-Pop to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bill is predeceased by his parents, his wife Millicent, wife Audrey, his daughter Linda and son Fred. He leaves to remember him fondly his sisters, his daughter Jackie and her husband, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Suggested memorials include: College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 42123, Lubbock, TX 79409-2123; First United Methodist Church, 1411 Broadway, Lubbock, TX 79401; Carillon Foundation, 1717 Norfolk Ave, Lubbock, TX 79416.