Annette Larson Benert
Annette L. Benert, 78, of Bethlehem, died peacefully on June 3, 2020. Annette was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1941, to the late Clifford and Adda Mary Larson, and grew up there and in St. Paul, MN. She graduated from Bethel College in 1963, where she also met her future husband Richard Benert. She earned a doctorate in English from Lehigh University while also raising two small children, Miriam and Colin.
The family lived in Easton until 1975, then moved to Bethlehem, where Annette remained for the next 39 years until moving to Moravian Hall Square in Nazareth. Annette had a long and rewarding career as a professor of English, mostly at DeSales University, and was an enthusiastic and active member of the regional academic community. Her scholarly work focused mainly on the writings of Henry James and Edith Wharton. In her professional and private lives, Annette was a vital force. She had many other passions and enthusiasms: gardening in her spectacular garden; singing in Lehigh Choral Union and other choirs; extensive traveling in the US and around the world; her much-loved cats; attending concerts; and of course her beloved Quaker community. Annette was a longtime member of the Religious Society of Friends and was active and integral in both the local and the regional Quaker communities. Annette contained and shared multitudes. Her dementia-related decline of the past several years was heart-breaking for her and all who loved her.
Annette is survived by her loving children, son-in-law Don, daughter-in-law Angelina and grandson Ian, her brother Paul, her amicably divorced husband Dick, and cherished cousins, nieces, and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother Phil in 2019. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Friends Service Committee. A Celebration of Life for Annette will be held at a future date to be determined.