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Walter Bennett was born in Los Angeles, California on May 31, 1918 to Ella and H.C. Bennett. He was the younger brother of Frank and John Bennett. Raised in Beverly Hills, Walter was an active junior member of the Los Angeles Country Club. At an early age, he loved many sports including fly fishing, golf, tennis, sailing, and skiing.
During Walter’s college years at Stanford University, he met the love of his life, B.J. Montgomery. After graduating with a B.S. in Engineering at Stanford in 1940, he began his career at Utility. He then married B.J. and had three children: Hal, Craig, and Laurie. Hal Bennett is now President of Utility, and Craig Bennett is Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Utility. Walter was also a proud grandfather to ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Walter’s father, H.C. Bennett and his uncle E.W. Bennett founded Utility in 1914 and passed down the family-operated business to Walter and his brother, John. John and Walter ran the company in the post World War II years during one of the largest economic expansions in American history. Their leadership and commitment to excellence enabled Utility to develop many patentable innovations and laid the foundation for the third generation of Bennett family leadership. During this time, Utility’s continued growth and success led to the expansion of two new manufacturing facilities in El Paso, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as a move to the present headquarters in City of Industry, California. Walter and John also spearheaded the development of Utility’s unique “foam-in- place” insulation which set a new standard in reefer engineering and ultimately established Utility as the #1 refrigerated trailer manufacturer. In 1982, Walter and John passed the reigns to Paul, Hal, and Craig Bennett who have led Utility since. Walter remained active with Utility as an advisor until he retired in 2009.
“As we mourn the loss of our father, we remember a great man who modeled for us integrity in every aspect of his life,” said Hal Bennett, President of Utility. “His vision was pivotal in the success of our company, but more importantly his life will have an impact on our family for generations to come. With fond memories, my father will be greatly missed by all.”
Walter passed away on Sunday September 11, 2011 at the age of 93 in his Los Angeles, California home.
Walter Bennett photographed by professional photographer, and niece, Sue Bennett in 1993. Walter loved outdoors and many sports including fly fishing, golf, tennis, sailing, and skiing.