After a lengthy illness, Major Bennet B. Monde of Sweetwater, Texas, passed away on 8 September, 2011, at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Harriet Ruth Monde and his five children: son, Robert and wife Phyllis of Leander and their two children Tara and Kyle; daughter Lise Guelker and husband Welton of Sweetwater and their four children Erik, Lenah, Billy and Kristie; daughter Linda Thompson and husband Carter of Coleman; daughter Inga Farquhar and husband James of Colorado City and their two children Kristopher and Brittney; daughter Laura Briley of Sweetwater and her five children, Callie, Justin, Aaron, Andrew, and AJ. He also has 12 great-grandchildren.
Monde was born in New York City, New York, on 18 April 1929, the son of Alfred Monde and Anna M. Monde. After graduating from Plainfield High School in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1947, he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He rose to the rank of Sergeant by 1949, when he was accepted into the Air Force Aviation Cadet program and graduated from that school as a Navigator with the rank of Second Lieutenant on 9 February 1951.
Monde married the former Harriet R. Young of McAllen, Texas on 7 August 1955. He was assigned as operations officer and then commander of the 683rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, in 1966.
He retired from the Air Force with the rank of Major on 1 July 1970. After retiring, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in August of 1973 and earned his Master’s degree in history from Hardin Simmons University in 1980. He retired in 1990 after 16 years as a US teacher at the Sweetwater Middle School.
He was twice president of Sweetwater’s Kiwanis Club, and elder at First Christian Church of Sweetwater, a board member of the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital and honored in 1996 by being named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. He was a popular speaker for many functions in and around Sweetwater including, Fourth of July celebrations, Memorial Day celebrations, Veterans Day celebrations and the Sweetwater Lion’s Club. He was a dedicated member of the Retired Officer’s Association at Dyess.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Sweetwater Kiwanis Club.
Pallbearers will be members of the Dyess Military Honor Guard.
Services will be at 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, at McCoy Chapel of Memories. A family visitation will be Sunday from 5-7 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home.