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Article posted: 12/1/2012 10:27 AM

Ex-District 25 board member Charles Bennett dead at 89

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A former school board member with Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, who served during its biggest growth years during the 1960s, has passed away.

Charles Bennett served two terms on District 25's school board, during years when six new schools opened, before serving a term on the Arlington Heights board of village trustees.

He passed away on Nov. 21. The former longtime Arlington Heights resident was 89.

Bennett brought more than the interest of his children's education to his role as school board member, his wife says.

"He was interested in the community," Marcia Bennett said. "He had worked as the editor of a newspaper in a small town, and had experience with all of the politics and financial concerns it took to run a small town.

"And Arlington Heights was a small town at that time," she added.

Bennett served on District 25's school board, from 1961-67. During those years, school board members scrambled to keep pace with the explosive suburban population growth.

"They were continually building," Marcia Bennett said. "He did what every other school board member did at the time, and tried to keep ahead of the growth of the town."

In 1961, they built Kensington Elementary School, followed by Olive and Patton schools in 1962. In 1964, they built a second junior high school in the village, Thomas Junior High School and Greenbrier Elementary School in the village's northwest quadrant.

In 1966, they added Ivy Hill Elementary School followed by Rand Junior High School in 1968.

After serving on the school board, Bennett served on the village's plan commission, which again took up keeping pace with the village's expansion. He was elected to the village board of trustees in 1967 and served until 1971, under Mayor John G. Woods.

Beyond tackling villagewide matters, Bennett also served on the legal committee and on the public safety committee.

"He served with many good men," his wife added, "who all were dedicated to keeping Arlington Heights first rate."

Besides his wife, Bennett is survived by his sons, Doug (Sue) and Tom (Lynda) Bennett, and five grandchildren.

Services will be private.

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