Vernon Ray Bennett , 82, passed away at the Spanish Peaks Veterans Living Center at Walsenberg Co. November 22, 2016.
Vernon Ray Bennett was born May 24, 1934 in Des Moines, NM, the son of Joseph Milton and Evelyn (Longwill) Bennett. He attended school in Des Moines and graduated from Des Moines High School in 1953. He attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM for one semester before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. Vernon was stationed at Camp Pendelton, CA. from 1954-58 during the Korean Conflict. After his military service he returned to the ranch in Des Moines, NM and became a cattle rancher.
He married Linda Kruse, his wife of 42 years, in Fairview, Kansas on July 7, 1974, He met her in the Des Moines community after she came there to teach school. They are the parents of two sons, Justin and Joel, who they raised on the family ranch.
Vernon served on the local telephone co-op board and the Sierra Grande Television co-op board. He was on the board of the Sierra Grande Rancher’s Camp Meeting Association, and he helped provide firewood for the camp cooks. Vernon served as a poll worker on the election board for the Des Moines voting precinct numerous times. He was a member of the Des Moines Chapter No. 46 Oder of the Eastern Star and Sierra Grande Masonic Lodge No. 57. Where he served as the Worthy Patron numerous times. When the lodge and the Eastern Star closed at Des Moines he transferred membership to the Raton Gate City Lodge No. 11 and the Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 Order of the Eastern Star and served as the Worthy Patron. He received fifty year membership pins in both organizations. He was a 32 Degree Mason member of the Scottish Rite Consistory in Santa Fe, the Ballut Abyad Shrine in Albuquerque, the American Legion, and the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. Vernon was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church at Des Moines where he served on the church board as a trustee and church historian.
He enjoyed attending the horse races at La Mesa Park and at the New Mexico State Fair. Visiting with family and friends at the annual community barbecues was always special for him.
In November of 2004 Vernon and his wife Linda moved to their retirement home in Raton, NM. Due to declining health, he entered the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Center in Walsenburg, CO. on March 23, 2012.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Beverly Allen of Clovis, NM, and his son Joel Bennett in 2011.
He is survived by his wife Linda Bennett of the home in Raton, son Justin and his wife Kristy Bennett of Des Moines, NM and their children, Jaydon Warnke, Karson Bennett and Kalen Bennett, sister Barbara Fury of Clovis, NM, and grandson James Ray Bennett of Raton, NM. Numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends also survive.
Visitation will be Monday November 28, 2016 from 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.
Funeral service will be held Tuesday November 29, 2016 at 10:00 am in the First United Methodist Church Raton with Pastor Jon Kuncel officiating. Burial will follow at the Fairmont Cemetery under the direction of Yaksich-Long Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are listed as Damon Brown, Cody Morrow, Carr and John Vincent, Garrett King and Seth Owensby.
In lieu of flowers donation can be made to the Shrine’s Hospital, Grace United Methodist Church Des Moines New Mexico or a Charity of your Choice.