Paul Dean Bennett, 76
Paul Dean Bennett, 76, of Irvine, CA passed away at home on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with lymphoma and leukemia. He was born July 13, 1943 in Los Angeles, CA, the oldest son of Zelda Faye (Brower) and Fred M. Bennett, formerly of Flandreau, SD. Paul was the beloved husband of Bonnie (Kjorstad) Bennett, formerly of Williston.
He attended Catholic schools through Grade 12 in Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 1966 with a degree in engineering. He began his career at NCR while still attending college and was hired by them upon graduation. He married Elizabeth Campbell in 1966. They divorced, but the marriage gave him his wonderful children.
During his career in the computer industry, Paul moved into sales and with Prime Computer and Sperry-Univac, earned many award trips. Switzerland, Cannes, and the Virgin Islands were his favorites. This began his love of travel, which he continued with his family until illness prevented it
As a teenager, Paul, along with his dad and brother began to build and race go-karts. He and his dad designed a Dyna-drive system for go-karts. They built and sold about 25 of them out of the garage. Paul continued to race until 1972 when he crashed at Riverside raceway. He renewed his love of building karts and racing when he discovered the Vintage Karting Association in his 60s, renewing old friendships and making many new ones. He began to buy parts and kart frames on eBay and was thrilled when he bought a Dyna-drive out of Calgary and recognized a mark he had mistakenly etched on it when building it as a teenager. Many of his happiest times were at karting tracks in Santa Maria, Adams in Riverside, and Bakersfield. He spent many hours in his garage building and making parts for his karts. When he was too ill to be in the garage, he was often thinking up a better design to make them go faster. His family felt this got him through the tough times, and soon he was back in the garage again. He could fix anything and was fondly known to his family and neighbors as “MacGyver.”
Paul married Bonnie (Kjorstad) Krogen on January 17, 1976, and with their blended family, loved spending time in the outdoors — boating and jet-skiing on the Colorado River, backpacking and camping in the Sierras, snow skiing in Mammoth and Utah, and sailing his Sabot and Kite in the Long Beach and Newport Harbors. He coached soccer and drove many miles with University High School’s water polo team. Many family trips were spent driving to National Parks in the west on the way to North Dakota. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend.
Paul is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Bonnie; children and grandchildren, Christine Bennett and children, Joshua and Jacob Dowd of Meridian, ID; Jeffrey (Jill) Krogen, and children, Kate and Jason of Chesterfield, MO; Brian (Renae) Bennett, and children, Jacob, Andy, and Israel of Simi Valley, CA, Brandon of San Diego, CA, and Erica and Nicole of Olympia, WA; and Gregory (Gretchen) Krogen, and Svea of Culver City, CA. He is also survived by his brother, Gary, of Waxhaw, NC and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Faye and Fred Bennett; and his sister-in-law, Maureen (McCrea) Bennett.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 5th at University United Methodist Church in Irvine, CA. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in Williston, ND, on Saturday, October 12that 1 p.m. with a reception following at the Hampton Inn in Williston at 2 p.m. Friends and family are welcome.
Memorials may be given to University United Methodist Church, 18422 Culver Drive, Irvine, CA 92612, or to a charity of your choice.
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