In Memoriam: Frank T. Bennett
My husband, Frank Bennett, passed away on April 23, 2023 after a brief illness. He was 73 and we had been together over 50 years, marrying as soon as it was legal.
Frank was born in Kansas, raised in the hamlet of Ottawa. His family owned a creamery and in summers Frank would help produce the popsicles and other dairy products distributed throughout the Midwest. Not surprisingly, he developed a sweet tooth.
Frank left Ottawa for Culver Military Academy and then on to Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where we met freshman year.
After college, we relocated to Washington, DC where Frank worked in a congressional office and in a political consulting firm, Smith & Harroff, before settling in as a law firm administrator at Duncan Weinburg Miller & Pembroke.
In the summer of 1974, we made our debut in Rehoboth as guests of our piano stomping, scotch-swizzling host, Bill Travis. We were both chicken and prey. We slept on the second floor sleeping porch of The Verandas which to this day retains its outlandishly striped awning drapes welcoming and luring all visitors. Weekend nights alternated between the proper Dinner Bell restaurant and the toney Corner Cupboard Inn, a precursor to today’s Back Porch. Following dinner, if someone could still drive, we headed down to the decidedly low-brow Nomad Village for local color and social festivities.
In 1977, with a few friends, we purchased an Arts and Crafts cottage in the Pines area of north Rehoboth as our second home. Frank loved all things Rehoboth: margaritas at Mariachi; wet Tea Dances at high tide at the Boathouse; lazy afternoons at Poodle; Pie Lady parties on the Fourth; hosting vicious “Cocktail Croquet” matches in the side yard; morning bike rides on the boardwalk; post-dinner card games with Placido Domingo blaring; night caps on the front porch under a ceiling fan; joy rides in the convertible Metropolitan; cocktails with “the boys” at the Moon and then Aqua.
I grew up in New Orleans and Frank adopted it as his spiritual hometown. We kept a home there and visited often. We indulged in the gumbo of cultures of the city: red beans and rice at Mandina’s on Monday; raucous Jazz Fest weekends; sazeracs and soufflé potatoes at Galatoires; Lundi Gras at Commanders; Mardi Gras crawfish on the neutral ground of St. Charles Avenue for Rex; opening night fried catfish at Joey K’s; Southern Decadence and Krewe du Vieux in the Quarter; driveway drinks and gossip at the compound.
Frank is survived by his husband, David Michael Winn; his sister, Barbara Deacon, of Bristol, Rhode Island; and his brother, Davis Bennett, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; as well life-long friends Whit Fletcher, Ray Brinkman, Michael Craig, Rich Barnett, Jennie Thompson, and Janine D’Addario. ▼
Joseph Howard Kramer
Joseph Howard Kramer (Joe/Jodee) passed away at his home in Rehoboth Beach Sunday, April 16, 2023. He was born in Eldora, Iowa, March 6, 1947.
Following high school graduation in Eldora, he attended the University of Notre Dame, earning a bachelor of arts degree, and L’Universite Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and Washington, DC, where he received a master’s degree in international economics and a certificate of proficiency in the French language.
His professional career included serving as an international economist and lobbyist at the Washington, DC law and lobbying firm of Patton, Boggs and Blow; a public relations executive in New York City; and vice president of the Washington, DC, lobbying/public relations firms Gray and Company and Hill & Knowlton.
With a summer home in Rehoboth Beach, he moved there permanently in 1991 with his partner, Mark Brown. Together they opened and operated a bed and breakfast, the Silver Lake Guesthouse, from 1991 until 2016.
Throughout his life, he traveled extensively internationally, including an adventurous 1968 drive in his yellow Mustang convertible through Russia to Odesa, Ukraine. In recent years, he especially enjoyed annual visits to Paris.
In addition to his parents, Joseph was preceded in death by his sister, JoAnn Kramer, and his grandparents. Survivors include his partner of 45 years, Mark Brown; an uncle, William Kramer; and several cousins.
At his request, services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joseph’s name may be directed to Rehoboth Beach Public Library, 226 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971, rehoboth.lib.de.us; or Eldora Iowa Public Library, 1202 10th Street, Eldora, Iowa 50627, eldora.lib.ia.us. ▼
Sharon Lee Hansen
Sharon Lee Hansen, 84, of Selbyville, Delaware, passed away on Friday, April 28, 2023, at AccentCare Hospice Center in Wilmington, Delaware. She was born July 4, 1938, in Corry, Pennsylvania.
Sharon attended Beaver College (now Arcadia University), graduating in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree. While there, Sharon participated in field hockey, lacrosse, and basketball. After college, Sharon moved to the Baltimore area. From the 1960s through the 80s she was involved in both basketball and fast-pitch softball, where she excelled as a pitcher. In the early 70s, Sharon took up golf. In 1990 Sharon was elected to the Greater Washington, DC Softball Hall of Fame; in 1997 she was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Softball Fast Pitch Hall of Fame.
Sharon went back to school in the 1970s; in 1980 she was awarded her PhD in Pathology by the University of Maryland Medical School. Her career took her to multiple research labs, the FDA, and the Veterans Administration; she travelled worldwide as a guest lecturer. In addition, she shared her scientific knowledge with students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine from 1975 to 1993.
Sharon was a prolific and widely-published writer. She served on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Infection Control from 1981-1996, was guest editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology from 1984-1996, and on the Editorial Board for the publication from 1997-2000.
Sharon’s special recognitions and achievements included an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation and an FDA recognition award for work during Desert Storm/Desert Shield in 1992.
Upon her December 31, 1999 retirement from the FDA and VA, Sharon retired to the Rehoboth Beach/Lewes area. Her local passions included golf (with the CAMP Rehoboth Golf League). She was also part of the Founder’s Circle for the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center, supported the Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Rehoboth Art League, and developed a wide circle of friends.
In addition to her parents, Sharon was preceded in death by her brother, Andrew Mason Hansen. She is survived by her nephew, Mark; her nieces, Andrea Hansen and Susan Best; her sister-in-law, Wilda Hansen; and her cherished friend, Patti Duffy.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023; interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to West Rehoboth Community Land Trust, Inc., PO Box 633, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971, or westrehobothlandtrust.org/donate. ▼