Ann Bennett, 89
Ann P Bennett passed away on January 28th with her family by her side in Cloquet, MN.
Ann was born in San Angelo, TX, on Dec. 13, 1934, to Harold and Sallie (Price) Payne. Her family made their home in El Paso for most of her formative years.
As a young woman, she worked at the Fort Bliss Army base as a secretary, where she met her future husband, Jim. Set up initially on a blind date — that Jim promptly slept
through — Ann eventually gave the Minnesotan a second chance, and they married in 1959. They spent 59 years together until Jim passed away in 2018.
Ann moved to Birchdale with Jim in 1962 to make their home with their young daughter Lynn. Two more children followed, Kristal and Steven. Ann worked at the post office in Birchdale and eventually became the local postmaster in 1971. Moving briefly to a post in Rainer, Ann eventually became the Buhl, MN, Postmaster in 1985, retiring in 1992. She loved working in the post office, but it was the friends she made along the way that were truly special. She went to many Postmaster conventions and regaled family with all her experiences, laughing all the while.
Ann loved to dance, and country music was her favorite. In their younger years, she and Jim belonged to a square-dancing group. Ann loved to listen to country music and in final years, she could still remember the words to many songs.
In retirement, Ann and Jim moved to a cabin setting on the Rainy River. Building the home over the years made it truly a lovely place. Ann loved to garden and cook Mexican food and invite friends over to enjoy margaritas and tacos as often as she could.
Ann enjoyed time with her three grandchildren: Trisha, Laurel, and Veronica. The cabin on the Rainy, filled with Grandma and Grandpa’s love, was a second home to the grandkids. Ann was a good seamstress, and her specialty was making Raggedy Ann dolls or doll clothes. These were a challenge to her patience, but she never said no. All in the family were graced with Grandma’s Raggedy Ann or Andy dolls.
In later years, when they traveled to the South to visit family for the winter months, Ann took up pine needle basket-weaving. She loved learning new things and seeing new places. She took up guitar and learned enough to play along with her choir at the Birchdale Church.
Ann was a loving and giving wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandparent. Her gifts of time, service, and special trinkets were often unexpected but always appreciated. No doubt there are many in the Birchdale area who were gifted her homemade coffee bread or peanut brittle. Giving was her genuine joy.
Ann’s final years were lost to dementia. She did continue to sing along to country songs or dance if given the chance. She may not have always remembered our names, but she always had a smile for family. She knew we “belonged” to her somehow.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Sallie Payne, in-laws William (Bud) and Margreate Bennett, sisters, Virginia Steely, Beatrice (Sallie) Bell, brother-in-law Raymond (Chuck) Steely and sister-in-law Alice Bennett. She is survived by a brother Harold (Lou) Payne; daughter Lynn Bennett-Bendewald (Randy), Kristal Bennett, Steven Bennett (Kim); grandchildren Trisha (Adam) Reinwald, Laurel Hasbargen, and Veronica (Andy) Olson; and great-grandchildren Alder Reinwald and Adeline and Emmett Olson. Many special nieces and nephews.
We know you have found your dancing partner, dance on.
A service is planned for summer. Memorials can be given to the Birchdale Church.
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