Rufus Bryant Bennett departed this life on March 24, 2018 at 4:25 am. He was blessed to be given 95 years, 11 months, and 24 days on this earth.
Rufus Bennett, better known as Klute, to close friends and family, was born to Reverend Joseph Bennett and Delphia Flowers Bennett, in Wadesboro, NC, on April 29, 1922. He was the third oldest child in a family of 10 children. Rufus, like most of the children in Wadesboro, attended Anson County Training School, then worked the family farm until, in 1941, at the age of 19, he would move, in what he called “the great escape”, to Baltimore where he would find employment working on the docks.
On July 9, 1945, Rufus married Frances Flora Gwynn, of Winston Salem, NC. In that same year (1945), Rufus and Frances moved to Harlem, NY. Within one month after their marriage, Rufus was drafted into the United States Marine Corp., where he trained at Montfort Point, NC, a.k.a. Camp Lejeune training facility for Negro soldiers.
Rufus served and fought in the South Pacific Campaign and was honorably discharged on August 22, 1946. Rufus would become employed by R.K. Bakery Company in Greenwich Village, NY, where he was trained and became a professional baker and would retire from the company, after 42 years of service.
Rufus continued to work after he retired, at the local town Mobile gas station for another 20 years, which is a testament to his amazing work ethic and his belief that “a real man must work.”
Rufus and Frances, along with 4 of their 5 children, resided in Harlem for 14 years before moving to Teaneck, NJ, where he lived for 40 years, finally moving to Orlando Florida in 2001, where he lived until his death, just one month shy of his 96th birthday.
Rufus and Frances faithfully attended the North Orlando Seventh Day Adventist Church, as his years and health would permit.
Rufus loved baseball, playing briefly for a minor league team, the NY Pirates, as a pitcher, until the age of 40.
He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, and Rufus (Klute) also loved to party.
Rufus leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Frances Flora Bennett, 5 children: Reginald Bennett (Sylvia), Bernadette Cox (Philp), Vernard Bennett (Carol), Charles Bennett (Erika), Consuella Figueroa (Freddie); 12 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, and one sister, Marva Bennett Saunders, of Charlotte, NC, along with a host of nieces, nephews, extended relatives and friends.
Rufus was predeceased by his father, Reverend Joseph Bennett, mother, Delphia Flowers Bennett, 3 brothers, Charles Edward Bennett, John Dexter Bennett, Walter Donnell Bennett; 5 sisters,
May God Bless you and the love of Jesus comfort you
James WashingtonWinchester, VA