Do You Know Bennie & Sue Blansett?

Bennie & Sue BlansettBennie & Sue first met in high school in Temple, TX, in the mid 1950’s. Their life-long romance didn’t start then, however. Sue’s mother — Gladys — was Temple High’s only chemistry teacher, and she put “the fear of God” in Bennie. He steered clear of chemistry classes, and — for the time being — of Sue.

Within days of graduating from high school, Bennie joined the United States Air Force. After four years of service he returned to Temple to attend Temple Junior College. It just so happened that Sue was in her sophomore year there. And Gladys wasn’t the chemistry teacher.

They were married on June 1, 1961 and moved to San Marcos where Sue graduated from Southwest Texas State College and took a position teaching Speech and Drama at San Marcos High School. Bennie graduated in 1963 with a degree in Accounting and a commission in the US Air Force.

The early years of their marriage blessed them with three children — Monica, Benet and Boyd — and found them moving around quite a bit. Bennie had assignments in Florida, Texas, California, Colorado, Ohio, Alabama, Guam, the Philippines, and Germany. Bennie’s outstanding performance in the Air Force earned him three Distinguished Flying Crosses, sixteen Air Medals, a Base Commander position at Bitburg Air Base in Germany, and a promotion to Colonel. The Air Force also sent him to the University of Colorado for an MBA.

They eventually ended up back in Texas, first in San Marcos — where Bennie was Commander of AFROTC at SWT — and then in San Antonio, where Bennie served at Randolph AFB. Sue resumed her career and took an Associate Director position at St. Mary’s University.

After Bennie retired from the Air Force, they moved into an apartment on the Riverwalk. Sue became interested in the Bed and Breakfast business, and in 1993 they became the proud owners of the Brackenridge House Bed & Breakfast in King William. After eighteen years and hundreds of guests they sold the Brackenridge House and are now completely retired.

They have a summer home in Medford, Oregon, where their oldest daughter Monica lives with her husband and three children. Their winter home is here in King William. Their family here in town includes their daughter Benet and her husband and children; and their son Boyd and his wife.

Their children recently treated them to a 50th anniversary cruise! The entire family joined them (all three kids, their spouses, and all five grandchildren). It was a great week and a wonderful way to celebrate a long and happy life together.

Bennie and Sue frequently come to the La Frite Happy Hour event, so be sure to say hello the next time you see them there!

Originally published May 9, 2012 in the Lavaca & Friends Happy Hour update.

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