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Harold Harper Bennett
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Birth: Sep. 20, 1900
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Death: Dec. 1, 1999
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Obituary from The Deseret News, 12/2/1999, pg. B02:

Harold Harper Bennett, ex-ZCMI president, dies

Harold Harper Bennett, 99, the first president of ZCMI in this century who wasn't the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Salt Lake City after a brief illness.

He had a 47-year career with ZCMI that included 15 years as the store chain's president, from 1958-73. He retired with ZCMI soon after heart surgery in December of 1972.

Mr. Bennett, a brother of former Utah Sen. Wallace F. Bennett, started working for ZCMI in 1926 as an accountant in its grocery division. He also served in a variety of other positions -- secretary, treasurer, assistant general manager, director, vice president, general manager and executive vice president.

He continued after retirement on the ZCMI board of directors until the late 1970s, remained active for many years with the National Merchants Association and was still a director of Zions Bank.

A graduate of the University of Utah School of Business in 1925, his first two jobs as a teenager were bank messenger for Utah Station National Bank (now Zions First National Bank) and stacking hay one summer on Utah County farms. Mr. Bennett also served as a trustee of the Bennett Association, director and vice president of Bennett Paint Co. and partner and president of the Bennett Motor Co.

A member of the Brigham Young University College of Business Advisory Council, Mr. Bennett also served in a variety of other capacities, including a member of the New York University Merchants Council, as director of the Utah Retail Merchants Association, director of the Salt Lake Oratorio Society, a member and vice president of the Salt Lake Rotary Club and as an executive committee member of the Utah Taxpayers Association.

Mr. Bennett was also a past director of both Deseret Book Co. and Hotel Utah. He had also served as a director of the Salt Lake County Red Cross and Utah Symphony Orchestra. He was honored in 1960 with the National Merchants Association Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service.

He was also an accomplished singer, especially as a soloist. He had also been a state champion in tennis, badminton and squash and enjoyed boating on the Great Salt Lake.

Mr. Bennett served as a High Councilor in the Bonneville LDS Stake for 37 years and was a former member of the LDS Church Finance Committee.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Dec. 4, at noon at the Bonneville LDS Stake Center, 1535 E. Bonneview Drive. Friends may call at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, Friday, Dec. 3, from 6-8 p.m., or from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Stake Center. Internment will be at Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery.

Obituary from The Salt Lake Tribune, 12/3/1999, pg. C7:

Harold Harper Bennett, one of the twentieth century's great souls, died on the morning of December 1, 1999, at the age of 99.

Born September 20, 1900, in Salt Lake City, Utah, he was the second son of John Foster Bennett and Rosetta Elizabeth Wallace.

He grew up in the Avenues district, attending Lowell School and LDSU High School, and gaining a reputation as a tennis player, a singer, an expert hay stacker, and an artist. In the spring of 1917, he was buried alive while digging clay for tennis courts at the high school. The boy next to him was killed but he escaped with a severely broken nose. Forever crooked, that nose became his signature feature.

Before and after his LDS Church mission to England, he attended the University of Utah, earning a B.A. in Commerce and Finance in 1925. At the university, he served as business manager and editor of both The Pen and The Utah Chronicle. In the offices of The Pen, late in 1917, he began to court Emily Higgs. Seven years later, on August 21, 1924, they were married in Salt Lake City.

In 1925, Harold and Emily traveled to England, where he studied Economics and Political Science at the University of London. In England, he also studied music with F.C. Field-Hyde. During this interval, he mastered the bass solos in The Messiah, which he performed many times in later years.
Returning to Utah in 1926, with the first of their eight children, the Bennetts established home and career, devoting themselves to family, church, and community service.

He went to work at ZCMI in September of that year as an accountant at Zion's Wholesale Grocery. Over the subsequent 47 years, he held many titles including controller, secretary, treasurer, and general manager. He was named president in 1958, the first time in 75 years that role had been filled by someone who was not also president of the LDS Church.

During his long tenure, ZCMI grew from one store to six. He moved the organization to the branch store concept at a critical point in its history. Active in several trade associations, he served as president of the National Retail Merchants Association (NRMA), conducted the Second International Meeting of Retailers in Dublin, Ireland, and was a lifetime member of the NRMA board. He received numerous awards including the NRMA's Gold Medal Award for "Distinguished Service to the Craft," membership in the Utah National Guard's Honorary Colonel Corps, and a University of Utah Distinguished Alumni Award.

He retired from ZCMI in 1973, remaining on the board of directors for a few more years. Apart from ZCMI, he served as trustee of the Bennett Association, trustee of the National Committee for Economic Development, and as a member of several boards of directors including Zions Bank, Deseret Book, and LDS Hospital.

Music was his great avocation. He sang many times as a soloist with the Salt Lake Oratorio Society, with the Tabernacle Choir, with the Utah Symphony, and in numerous other contexts. His repertoire (apart from The Messiah) included Haydn's The Creation, Mendelsohn's The Christus and Elijah, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Verdi's Requiem, Robertson's Book of Mormon Oratorio, and the role of Jesus in Bach's St. Matthew Passion. From 1932 to 1943, he directed the Annual Christmas Concert of the Choral Society of ZCMI in Memory Grove. Many times, he sang solos on the "Sunday Evening on Temple Square" radio broadcasts, including a series of "Twelve Hymns of the Restoration" recorded in 1953. His grandchildren cherish the Christopher Robin songs he sang for them.
He also enjoyed racquet sports, swimming, boating, and in later years, walking. He is probably the only man to have won Utah state championships in tennis, badminton, and squash racquets.

His church work spanned the century and included serving on the Liberty and Bonneville Stake High Councils for over 37 years, as a member of the General Finance Committee of the Church, and as a Bonneville Stake Patriarch for more than 25 years.

His devotion to his wife during their 60 plus years of marriage inspired all who saw it. Together they traveled the world, both for his profession and for her work in the general presidency of the LDS Church's YWMIA, but they were equally happy sitting at home together, reading, planning, and discussing the events of the day.

He offered strength and support to everyone in his circle. His family finds comfort in his example of integrity, perseverance, courage in the face of adversity, and dedication to core principles. His wit, wisdom, and dry malapropisms will be sorely missed.

He is survived by seven of his eight children and their spouses, all living in the Salt Lake City area: John H. Bennett; Mary Elen and W. Dean Belnap, Michael J. and Jan H. Bennett, Rose B. Jenkins, Ann B. and David Lowden, Peter H. and Rebecca W. Bennett, Nathan B. Winters, and Dr. Stephen H. and Susan Bennett. These children brought him 208 family members: 47 grandchildren and 37 spouses, 108 great-grandchildren and five spouses, and four great-great-grandchildren. His wife, his daughter Susan, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, two brothers, and two sisters preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 4, 1999, at 12 noon in the Bonneville Stake Center, 1535 East Bonneview Drive. Friends and family may call at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, on Friday, 6-8 p.m. and on Saturday, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Stake Center. Burial will follow at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South.

The family suggests contributions in his name to the Utah Symphony, Utah Boy's Ranch, or the American Heart Association.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  John Foster Bennett (1865 - 1938)
  Rosetta Elizabeth Wallace Bennett (1869 - 1958)
 
 Spouse:
  Emily Hillam Higgs Bennett (1896 - 1985)
 
 Children:
  John Harper Bennett*
  Mary Elen Bennett Belnap (1927 - 2010)*
  Rose Catherine Bennett Jenkins (1931 - 2014)*
  Ann Carolyn Bennett Lowden (1933 - 2003)*
  Peter Hetherington Bennett (1934 - 2012)*
 
 Siblings:
  Wallace Foster Bennett (1898 - 1993)*
  Harold Harper Bennett (1900 - 1999)
  Elizabeth Louise Bennett Winters (1903 - 1983)*
  Mary Bennett Smith (1906 - 1971)*
  Richard Summers Bennett (1911 - 1976)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
 
Created by: Airrow
Record added: Dec 03, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16902806
Harold Harper Bennett
Added by: JNSimpson
 
Harold Harper Bennett
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Earl Munday
 
 
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- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Oct. 19, 2014

- Ryan D. Curtis
 Added: May. 25, 2014
 
 
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