Charles Helm Bennett passed away peacefully on January 24, 2011 in St. Vincent's Hospital. Charles was born on October 13, 1927 in Indianapolis to Edward J. Bennett and Francis Helm Bennett. He was the second of three boys and treasured his childhood in Carmel. Charles graduated from Park School in 1945 (now Park Tudor School) where he excelled in football and baseball. Charles was invited to participate in an NFL training camp but chose instead to enter Wabash College where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and the football team. In 1946, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Puerto Rico. After his military service, Charles returned to Wabash and graduated in 1950.
After a short time working for the Indianapolis Stove Company, Charles began a career with Eli Lilly and Company. He was stricken with paralytic polio in 1956. He valiantly overcame this obstacle to work a full career with Lilly as a Systems Engineer. He also helped the company make adaptations to improve the workplace for individuals with disabilities.
Charles was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He married Joanne Spitznagel in 1951 with whom he raised four daughters. He later married Janet Knall, who had four daughters and one son.
Charles was a dedicated member of Trinity Episcopal Church of Indianapolis and later St. Boniface Episcopal Church of Sarasota where he served on the Men's Board. He was also active in many organizations, including the Indianapolis Dramatic Club, the Optimist Club, the Post-Polio Support Group of Sarasota, and the Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club Condominium Association. Charles and Janet were always very active in their community and known for their warm hospitality.
Charles is survived by his wife, Janet M. Bennett; his brother Edward J. Bennett, Jr. of Ft. Meyers, FL; his daughters, Mary J. Bennett of Indianapolis, Ariana H. Bennett of Raleigh, NC, Caroline Ammerman (Robert) of Cincinnati, OH; and Joanne Jeffers (William) of Sarasota, FL, in addition to seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Henry.
Visitation will be at 1:00 P.M. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3243 N. Meridian Street, followed by a service at 2:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, 1029 Fletcher Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46203.