Cover photo for Wayne Bennett's Obituary
Wayne Bennett Profile Photo

Wayne Bennett

b. August 15, 2017

Bennett, Wayne E.

Wayne Edward Bennett, 71, of Clifton Park, New York left peacefully
with his wife by his side on August 15, 2017. Born February 26, 1946
to Edward F. Bennett and Eleanor I. Bennett, Wayne was a happy child
who expressed an early passion for adventure. He was an athlete and
outdoorsman who cherished his time working at his maternal
grandparent’s farm. As a young boy, Wayne dreamed of becoming a New
York State Trooper. After graduating from Maple Hill High School,
Hudson Valley Community College, and The State University of New York
at Albany, Wayne applied to and was accepted as a recruit in the
prestigious New York State Police Academy. Following his 1969
graduation with the 115th Basic School Session, Wayne began a career
that spanned almost 40 years with the New York State Police. Holding
all but three titles in the Uniform Force and Bureau of Criminal
Investigation, Wayne prided himself on understanding the needs of his
fellow Troopers. In his career, he worked under six New York State
Governors, performing detail service for Nelson Rockefeller. Wayne
watched communication systems move from teletypes, to fax machines to
email, to internet and web-based networks. He celebrated the
admittance and graduation of the first female class at the State
Police Academy, and watched as they began their careers as Troopers,
paving the way for generations of women in law enforcement. He watched
his peers work the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid and understood
their joy as the Miracle on Ice sparked pride in US citizens. He
survived the sobering experience of working Prison detail when the NY
State Corrections Officers went on strike and troopers needed to guard
those incarcerated. Wayne also worked Thruway detail and witnessed the
Woodstock Festival overtake Bethel and its surrounding areas. He lived
the life of an undercover investigator interrupting drug trafficking
in New York City in the late 1970s. As he rose in rank, Wayne learned
how to work with the media and reporters to ensure the integrity of
the State Police and the people served by its Troopers. Wayne
witnessed the conception, birth and opening of the NY State Forensic
Investigation Center. On September 11, 2001, in the aftermath of the
2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Wayne responded to
the World Trade Center site and coordinated and supervised all NY
State Police rescue and recovery operations. Appointed by Gov. George
E. Pataki, Wayne retired as Superintendent of The New York State
Police and then continued working with the law enforcement community
by serving as The Commissioner of Public Safety/Deputy Mayor, under
Mayor Gary McCarthy, for the city of Schenectady, New York. There, he
worked alongside chiefs of police and fire to support residents of the
Electric City.

Wayne was a man of unwavering integrity whose vocabulary did not
include “assume” or “maybe.” He developed several passions in his life
outside of law enforcement. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowshoeing,
and golf. In his younger years, he mastered the art of working with
stained glass. However, his greatest joy came from being a father to
his daughters and grandfather to his granddaughters. He made cupcakes
for his kids, taught them how to fish, change tires, and be master
assistants to home improvement projects. He routinely boasted of his
children’s accomplishments after proudly putting his three daughters
through college.

Wayne is predeceased by his parents, mother and brother in-law. He is
survived by his wife, Patricia E. Bennett, twin sister Jean (David)
Kaercher of Latham, New York, brother Richard (Carol) Bennett of
Rockford, Illinois, and younger sister, Katherine (Edmund) Prescottano
of Medfield, Massachusetts. Wayne leaves behind his loving daughters,
Margaret, Katherine (Russell Bartlett), and Erin. He leaves a legacy
of hard work, commitment, and humor to his granddaughters, Emma
Johnson of Littleton, Colorado, Alexandra Bartlett of Tupper Lake, New
York, and Charlotte Roberts of Saratoga Springs, New York. Wayne is
greatly missed by his father-in-law, Dr. Edward Iandoli,
sisters-in-law Helen (John) Walsh of Skillman, NJ and Mary Bates of
Kinderhook, NY. Wayne’s smile and “Wayne-isms” will be missed by
several nieces, nephews, and friends. The family wishes to extend
their deepest thanks to Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Nurse Practitioner Randi
Daniels and the entire staff at NYOH.

Never a person to wallow in regret, Wayne would ask you to consider
the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what
you have, where you are.” Move on and speak fondly of him. Keep his
name and his wishes alive by contributing to your families and
communities. Be neighborly and take care of those you love.

Those wishing to say farewell to Wayne are encouraged to do so at the
NY State Police Academy 1220 Washington Ave. Building 24, Albany, NY
on Friday, August 18, 2017 from 4pm to 8pm. A funeral mass will be
held at St. Mary's Church 10 Lodge St., Albany, NY on Saturday, August
19, 2017 at 10am. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully
requests that you honor Wayne’s memory through a charity of your
choice, The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, The American Cancer Society or
The New York State Trooper Foundation, 3 Airport Park Boulevard,
Latham, NY 12110.

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