July 14, 1915 - Dec. 23, 2008
CAMBRIDGE -- Dr. Eleanor Maxine Bennett, 93, died Dec. 23, 2008, in Madison, Wis.
She was born July 14, 1915, in Beaver City to Irvin and Mary Ann (Polly) Bennett. When she was 3, the family moved to Cambridge where she grew up and graduated from high school in 1932. She went on to Hastings College, graduating in 1936.
For two years she taught at Ansley High School, teaching algebra, biology, general science, physical education and serving as the assistant principal. She then entered the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, one of the three women in her class, and graduated in June of 1942. After receiving her Doctor of Medicine degree she moved to Madison, to begin her internship at Madison General Hospital.
In 1949, she qualified to take her medical board exam, which she successfully passed in New York City. She was the only woman candidate. In 1959, she became Medical Director of the State of Wisconsin's Bureau of Crippled Children. She also continued to be a clinical instructor of ear, nose and throat to the University Medical School. In 1953, she became a full-time faculty member of the University Medical School as an Association Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology and was the only woman on the faculty. She later became chairman and professor of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. In 1967, she presented a paper and an original thesis and was elected as the first woman to the Triological Society. She served as vice president of the Middle Section (Mid West Region). To date she remained the only woman officeholder in the Society's history. She also served two terms as president of the Altrusa Club at Madison.
In 1978, she retired from teaching and the medical profession and was awarded the Emertus Professor of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
While she has no surviving family members many of her friends and associates considered her a part of their family.
She was preceded in death by her good friend, Martha E. Peterson
No services are planned. Her ashes will be buried next to her parents' graves in Cambridge.
Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Wisconsin Foundation (for the school of Medicine and Public Health) PO Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708-8860.
Lockenour Jones Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.