Albert Edwards Bennett, who was born on Cedar Street in East Hampton and lived all his life there except for Army service in World War II, died at the Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Southampton on April 30, just shy of his 88th birthday. He had leukemia and colon cancer, said his neighbor and friend Robert Jones.
Mr. Jones said Al Bennett was a proud, generous, and kind man, and a good friend to many. He kept in touch with friends across the country with greeting cards and letters throughout the year, they said. He never forgot neighbors either, dropping off a card in their mailbox on special occasions such as birthdays or a get well card if they were ailing.
He knew every shortcut in East Hampton Village, said Mr. Jones, until people started putting up fences and he had to change his course and walk the sidewalks and main roads. “He was not very happy by that and now and then would accept a ride from a neighbor or friend with gratitude.”
Mr. Bennett was born in the family house on May 4, 1926, to Stanley Bennett and the former Irene Miller. His three siblings, Howard, Leroy, and Madelaine Bennett, all predeceased him. He was never married.
He attended East Hampton High School and later worked with his father in estate maintenance. They often walked together to East Hampton’s estate section, his friend said. He also worked on the Fischer Building in Montauk.
While headed to Germany on a troop ship during the war, he once told Mr. Jones, he became so fascinated by the enormity of the ship that he explored it on his own for three days. Finally his sergeant found him. “ ‘Private Bennett, where have you been?’ Al replied, ‘On this ship, where do you think I’ve been, sir?’ ”
Mr. Bennett was most happy when tinkering with broken clocks and guns, said Mr. Jones. He would make parts to fix them. He loved animals, too, and could often be seen sitting on his back step in the warm sun feeding cats, rabbits, squirrels, and birds.
A graveside service will be held at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton on Saturday at 10 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to East Hampton Meals on Wheels, 33 Newtown Lane, East Hampton 11937.