Alan C. Bennett, 74, of Keizer, Oregon died April 12, 2022 at his home after a short illness.
Alan Charles Bennett was born July 3, 1947, in Seattle, Washington to Harry T. and Leona M. (Moran) Bennett. He grew up in Seattle, Wenatchee and Bremerton, Washington, graduating from West Bremerton High School in 1965, where he met his future bride, Sharlen Rae Stage. Alan and Sherry married on July 6, 1968 in Bremerton beginning a beautiful marriage and model partnership of 54 years together.
After two years attending Olympic College in Bremerton, Alan transferred to Central Washington State College in Ellensburg. Alan graduated with Highest Honors from Central in 1969 with a BA Degree in Business.
After college Alan worked for two years as a tax specialist in the trust department for US Bank in Portland, Oregon, before accepting a position with Pioneer Trust Bank in Salem as their youngest Assistant Trust Officer. Shortly after moving to Keizer in 1972, Alan and Sherry welcomed their first son, Christopher Alan. Their second son, Jeffrey Leigh, was born in 1976.
Alan enjoyed a full and impactful career with Pioneer Trust Bank, proudly serving the bank and the greater Mid-Willamette Valley community for over 50 years, from Trust Officer to Head of the Trust Department, Chairman of the Trust Investment Committee and eventually retiring as Senior Vice President in 2007. Alan served PTB as a valued Board Member from 1990 until board retirement in 2018 and continued to serve as an Emeritus Board Member and Shareholder until his passing. He served on the Trust Committee of the Oregon Bankers Association for over 30 years, including 3 separate terms as its Chairman. He was awarded the OBA President’s Award in 2002 for his service to the banking industry in the State of Oregon. Throughout his work with the bank and trust department, Alan touched many lives and worked directly with countless families helping them navigate through the intricate details of trust and estate planning and administration.
Alan generously volunteered his time, expertise and leadership to numerous civic and community organizations over his decades of service to the Salem-Keizer area, including Willamette Valley Estate Planning Council (President), Salem Public Library Advisory Board (President), Salem Public Library Foundation Board (President), Salem YWCA (Chairman Board of Trustees), Salem Development, Inc. (Director) and United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley (Chairman Funds Allocation Committee) among many others. Alan received the Salem Mayor’s Award of Merit for Outstanding Service and was honored as City of Salem Man of the Year.
Alan acquired a life-long love of classic cars while working for his father at the Bennett Ford dealership in Bremerton. Later in life he accumulated an impressive collection of Thunderbirds (1957, 1970, and 1986 models). He loved sharing his ‘birds at car shows, cruise-ins and parades whenever given the opportunity.
He was also an avid model railroad train collector, especially S-gauge American Flyer Trains, and participated in many organizations with fellow train hobbyists including the Train Collectors Association (TCA), Toy Train Operating Society (Portland TTOS Treasurer) and National Association of S-Gaugers (NASG).
With good friend Don Curtis, Alan displayed and operated the Capitol Holidays Train Layout at the Oregon State Capitol for 35 years (1984-2019). Don and Alan toured and displayed their Historic Salem Train Layout at dozens of local and national train shows. Thousands of wide-eyed children and the young-at-heart have enjoyed viewing their layout and visiting with Alan and Don at both the Capitol and numerous other locations around the Pacific Northwest over the three decades the layout was on display.
In addition to his numerous other professional and community focused activities, Alan participated in and attended hundreds of local sporting events and performances while raising his active boys. Alan coached youth sports at Keizer Soccer Club, Keizer Little League, Boy’s Club Basketball, Optimist Club Rifle Team and McNary High School JV Soccer.
Alan along with his wife Sherry were frequent patrons of the performing arts including serving as Board Member and President of the Salem Symphony and Oregon Symphony Association in Salem, as Advisory Board Member of the Siletz Bay Music Festival, Willamette Master Chorus, and as active patrons of the Portland Opera, Seattle Opera, The Met, Portland Broadway, Pentacle Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Portland Chamber Orchestra.
Throughout his retirement, Alan enjoyed traveling with his wife and family, including favorite trips to England, Alaska, Washington DC, New York City and cruises with their lifelong friends Gaye and Steve Fossum in Australia, New Zealand, Italy and Greece. He also loved annual spring break and holiday visits with his grandkids in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Alan enjoyed spending vacation with family and friends at Wapato Point on Lake Chelan and the Bennett family cabin at Grapeview, Washington, cheering on his beloved Seattle Seahawks, and relaxing with Sherry at their Coast House in Lincoln City, Oregon.
Alan was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Leona Bennett of Bremerton. Alan is survived by his wife Sharlen Bennett of Keizer, sons Christopher Bennett (Antonina) of Fort Mill, South Carolina and Jeffrey Bennett (Kat Swanson) of Eugene, three grandchildren Taylor Bennett, Aaron Bennett, and Emma Bennett of Fort Mill, siblings Marilyn Bennett (Peter Pendras) of Tacoma, Washington, Brian Bennett (Dolores) of Bremerton, Washington, and Marlene Bennett Jones (Larry) of Port Ludlow, Washington, sister-in-law Denise Kent (Tom) of Fairbanks, Alaska, nephew Trevor Pendras of Seattle, Washington, niece Allison Bennett of Bremerton, Washington, and grand pets Largent, Django, Khaleesi, Jadzia, Saffron, and Sriracha.
A Celebration of Life is planned for 2pm on June 18, 2022 at the Willamette Heritage Center 1313 Mill Street SE Salem, Oregon. Memorial donations may be made to any of the following organizations which were dear to Alan: OHSU Foundation, Union Gospel Mission of Salem, Siletz Bay Music Festival, Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, and Keizer Heritage Foundation.