**** Please Note that due to Covid-19 and the current Pandemic, Mr. Bennett's Funeral Service will be Private for the family only. It will take place on Friday, September 17, 2021. Entombment will also be Private for family at Montlawn Memorial Park. On Thursday September 16, 2021, a public "walk through viewing" will take place at Haywood Funeral Home, 2415 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC, from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Paul Edward Bennett, a devoted husband, a dedicated father, respected federal government executive and active church participant joined his Lord and Savior in heaven on September 2, 2021.
Paul was born in Lilesville, North Carolina on January 21, 1946. He was the son of the late Jabie and Johnsie Ingram Bennett. He accepted Christ at an early age at his home church, Pee Dee Baptist Church, also located in Lilesville where he was an active young adult. He attended public schools of Anson County, especially enjoying his years at Henry Grove High School as a member of the Class of 1963.
After high school, Paul attended North Carolina College at Durham, which later became North Carolina Central University, where he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Biology and Geography. Shortly before graduating from college, he married the love of his life, Shirley Spencer Bennett on October 21, 1966, at the University Memorial Chapel at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. To that union was born two children, Karen Elaine Bennett-Yates and Paul Edward Bennett, II.
After graduating from college, Paul’s prominent career as an executive with the Social Security Administration began in 1967, where he served in various management positions in the areas of budget, management and personnel. In 1986, he was accepted into the Senior Executive Service, which is the highest level of career executive management service in the federal government. Throughout his distinguished career in executive management, Paul obtained numerous achievements. Most notably, he served as a Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton’s Task Force on the Employment of Adults with Disabilities and served as the Director of Management for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals where he directed the administrative and operational activities of over 7,500 federal employees located in approximately 148 offices across the country with an annual budget of over $700 million dollars. Paul retired from the Social Security Administration in 2003 after 37 years of distinguished service.
After retirement, he remained active professionally by forming Bennett & Associates to provide management consulting services to the federal government. Additionally, from 2003 to 2005, he served as the Church Administrator for a congregation of over 4,000 members at the People’s Community Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a member of People’s Community Baptist Church, he also served in various other capacities, but he was most passionate about being a member of the Men’s Choir at People’s. Paul sang formally throughout his life. He sang in several groups in high school and college and singing praise and worship songs brought him joy and allowed him to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Bennetts relocated to Raleigh from the Washington, D.C. area in January 2012 and became members of Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Paul was a faithful and devoted member of Watts Chapel where he also sang in the church choir until his passing.
Paul was a devoted member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., where in 2020, he received his pin commemorating 55 years of service to the fraternity. He was initiated into the Tau Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi in the Fall of 1965. He was privileged to serve as Basileus of Tau Psi prior to graduating from college. After graduating from college, he was an active member of the Pi Omega Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland; the Mu Nu Chapter in Montgomery County, Maryland; and the Iota Iota Chapter in Raleigh, North Carolina until his ascension into Omega Chapter.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Shirley Spencer Bennett; his parents, Jabie and Johnsie Ingram Bennett and his younger brother Harold Maurice Bennett. He is survived by his two children, Karen (Sean) Elaine Bennett-Yates and Paul (Danielle) Edward Bennett, II; four grandchildren, Kelsey Alesha Yates, Sean Ronnell Yates, II, and fraternal twins Colin Michael and Matthew Paul Bennett; one brother Lewis (Dorsae) Bennett; four sisters, Elanders (Therman) Arrington, Gwendolyn (Guy) Marlow, Denise (Beau) Nicks, Carol (David) Smith and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
***Please Note: Anyone wishing to send flowers may send them directly to the funeral home. Again due to COVID-19, and out of respect for everyone's safety, we will require that those attending the viewing wear a facial covering or mask and comply with social distancing.
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