NEWPORT – Donna Bennett, 103, formerly of 8 Goodwin Street, and a longtime resident of Newport, died February 18, 2003, at a Pittsfield healthcare facility. She was born April 18, 1899, at Dexter the daughter of William and Bertha (McCrillis) Bennett. She moved to Newport at an early age, where she learned to play the violin, performing with several orchestras for area dances. After graduating from high school, she attended the Boston Lyceum School, studying with Antonio Gerardi of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She performed with the Alumni Sextette touring 15 states, including winters at hotels in Florida, and later, at the Jefferson Theatre in Portland. She then performed for a number of years at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Donna returned to Newport in 1942 and was employed for 24 years at the Newport Trust Company, retiring in 1966. She was the oldest member of the Newport High School Alumni Association, having graduated with the Class of 1917, and was the oldest member of the People’s United Methodist Church. As the oldest resident of the Town of Newport, Donna was the holder of the Boston Post Cane.
She is survived only by distant cousins.
At her request there will be no public visitation or funeral services. A graveside committal service will be held 11 AM Tuesday, May 20th, at the family lot, Riverside Cemetery, Newport, with the Rev. George Darling officiating. Arrangements are by Crosby & Neal Funeral Home, 117 Main Street, Newport.
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