Dick Bennett, who died June 6 at age 78, had logged more than 20,000 hours as a volunteer for the Metropolitan Police Department.
Thank you, Sir, for your lifetime of service to your community.
If there was a sign-up sheet, Richard “Dick” Bennett’s name would be on it.
Bennett, who died June 6 at age 78, had logged more than 20,000 hours as a volunteer for the Metropolitan Police Department.
On one of those volunteer police shifts at the Strip, Bennett brought the Rev. David Dendy. As they walked along the Strip, they came across Kimberly, an Australian in a red, ornamental headdress. She posed for a photo with Bennett and the pastor, and Bennett slipped her $20.
To Bennett, the woman was more than just someone to take a photo with, Dendy recalled Wednesday. “He knew her by name. He cared,” Dendy said at a funeral for Bennett.
And she was far from the only person he touched. That was evident by the scores of friends and family who packed pews at Mountain View Presbyterian Church to remember the Las Vegas man, who had spent his professional career at Sears, Roebuck &Co., and years of his personal time as a volunteer in multiple communities.
Among the crowd were Bennett’s three adult children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, as well as several police officers, sergeants and lieutenants. But what stood out was the sea of yellow shirts labeled “Volunteer Police” sprinkled throughout the crowd. Bennett had worked with more than 500 volunteers in his nearly 20 years with the Police Department.
“I didn’t get the yellow shirt memo,” Dendy said as he addressed the congregation. On either side of him were posters bearing the messages “Laugh often” and “Fear not” — in memory of Bennett.
Bill Ponseigo traveled from San Antonio, Texas, to attend the memorial. He met Bennett in 1967, when he was a young father who had just joined the volunteer fire department in Country Club Hills, Illinois.
“His work with all you yellow and green shirts is not new,” Ponseigo said.
Bennett was among the first graduating class of certified paramedics in Illinois. On Christmas, Bennett threw parties that encouraged gift donations that he would bring to his favorite charity, the Salvation Army.