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Bennett, Michael

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February 11, 1936 - January 26, 2015

Bennett, Michael

Michael Bennett, MD

Dr. Michael Bennett, born February 11, 1936 in Goose Creek, Texas and died after a long illness on Monday, January 26, 2015.

He is preceded in death by his parents Alvin Lowell and Jessica Wintz Bennett, and his brothers David and Alvin.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Allen Propes Bennett, sons Byron and wife Diane of Frisco, Texas, Marc and wife Susan of Austin, Texas, Daniel of Spring Valley, California, and daughter Heather and husband Bill Mobley of Bergenfield, New Jersey, grandchildren Audrey (and her husband Christian De la Cruz), Hilary, Alexander, Olivia, Clint, Michael, and Charlotte, and great-granddaughter, Carolyn Rose De la Cruz, brother Peter Dunne Bennett and his wife Mary Lou, sister-in-law Beth Bennett and many nieces and nephews.

Mike attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1958.  After a completing a pathology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he began his career in medical research at Oak Ridge Laboratories.  Doctor Bennett was among the founding fathers in the field of innate immunity research.  He was one of the first scientists to theorize and discover the existence of Natural Killer Cells in an effort to treat and cure cancer.  One of Dr. Bennett’s unique qualities was a childlike, infectious, joy exploring the unknown which presented itself in his lab, his travels with his wife Mary and his love of mystery novels.  Numerous graduate students were attracted to his laboratory in the Pathology Department at UT Southwestern over 30 years.

In keeping with his character, Mike was a generous teacher and mentor for the many graduate students who began their own careers in his lab.  Mike was a loving husband, dedicated father, and took great pride and joy in his grandchildren. His passion for life, love for his family and dedication to his research stands as an inspiration to us all. He will be sorely missed.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday February 21 at the chapel at Freedom Life Church, 2435 East Hebron Parkway, Carrollton, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Heart Association or the National Stroke Association.

Arrangements are under the direction of

ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
214-306-6700

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Ann Schatzle

February 21, 2015 1:03PM

Our thoughts are with you and your family.Knowing Mike was such a positive part of life. Big hug !


Igor Puzanov, M.D.

February 10, 2015 8:07AM

Dear Mary:

Words cannot describe my sadness on hearing the news about Mike's passing. However, my memories of his cheerful smile, his generosity, his good heart are priceless. I will be forever grateful for his guidance, teaching and friendship. He lives in the others he helped and touched. My sincere condolences,

Igor and family (wife Martina, children Igor Jr., Barbara and Veronika)


James Forman

February 02, 2015 7:41PM

Mary, I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Mike. He was a great colleague and friend. We collaborated on many projects and his great mind into science was always refreshing to hear. I will always enjoy the great times at UTSW that we shared together.
Jim and Adele Forman


Steven P Pakes

February 02, 2015 8:05AM

Our condolences to Mary and family. Michael was a gentleman who touched many professionally and personally.


Pallavur Sivakumar

January 28, 2015 5:14PM

It was extremely sad to hear about Mike passing on. Mike served as a mentor for me and played a major role in shaping my life and career. His enthusiasm for science cannot be matched and he was a father figure for a lot of us in the lab, mentoring and caring for us. My sincere condolences to Mary and the rest of the family.