Michael James Bennington

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Michael James Bennington, 62, of Ponder, Texas, shuffled off this mortal coil Thursday April 24, 2014, at Denton Regional Medical Center from complications due to Spinal Meningitis.

He was born March 9, 1952, in Watertown, Wisconsin, to James Oliver Bennington and Arlis Mae Bennington nee Harrison. Mike grew up overseas in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Recife, Brazil, and Bangkok, Thailand, as his father worked for USAID.

He graduated from Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota, Class of 1970. He received his B.S. in Archaeology with a Minor in Anthropology from Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1974 and his M.A.'s in Public Administration and History from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1975. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity.

Mike served his country for six years as an Army Officer with postings at Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, and Fort Leonard Wood and was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. He retired from the Central Intelligence Agency after a 22-year career as a Contracting Officer that saw postings in places too numerous to mention, from Langley to Miami, from Rio de Janeiro to San Salvador. He received several CIA Service Awards including six Exceptional Performance Awards and the Bronze Retirement Medallion.

An intellectual and well-read, who spoke several languages fluently, he could converse on an inconceivable number of subjects. He was not only the smartest man in the room, but also the wittiest. He enjoyed humor in most all forms from dry British humor to practical jokes. He was an incredible chef who used recipes only as guidance as he made each concoction his own and his BBQ Ribs, Christmas Casserole and Wild Rice and Pecan Dressing will be missed at future family gatherings.

His hobby was solely to read every book that he could lay his hands on and after retirement from the Agency at age 50 he voraciously read between four and ten books per week. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Andrea Bennington; daughters Lindsay, Audrey and Elizabeth; parents James and Arlis Bennington; sisters Janna Bennington, Mary Beth Allen, and Lisa Skay; and brother Joseph Bennington.

The memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday May 3rd, 2014, at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home in Lewisville, Texas. There will be a celebration of Mike's life following the memorial service at the family home in Ponder. In lieu of flowers Mike would prefer that you do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for another human being in his name.

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