Robert M. Bennett, B&B Music founder

May 25, 2013

Robert "Bob" M. Bennett, 84, died Tuesday, May 21, 2013, surrounded by family at the VA Community Living Center in Elsmere.

Bob Bennett was born in Frankford,. He is predeceased by his mother, Fleta Magdalene Fifer of Fifer Farms. She was the oldest of Charles and Mary Fifer’s six children and a graduate of Bridgewater College, Virginia. His father, J. M. Bennett, was born on Spruce Mountain, W.Va. and his passion for travel and education brought him to the Millsboro School District where he served as a principal for many years.

In 1947, Bob graduated from Caesar Rodney High School and went on to earn his bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology, also from Bridgewater College. Medically discharged from the Army in 1953 due to multiple sclerosis, it was a summer trip to Europe that led to a lifelong friendship and business partnership with Fred Brown. They opened the doors to B&B Music on June 15, 1955, located inside the old Bayard Hotel building on the corner of Loockerman Street and Governors Avenue in Dover. They began selling vinyl records, sheet music, pianos and music accessories. Harry Voshell joined the partnership eight years later and the business expanded to include local school programs. The business continues to thrive over a half century later, now known as B&B Music and Sound.

In 1975 Bob retired from the business and married Shirley Blackman. They made their home in Rehoboth Beach where they worked in real estate, travelled, wintered in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. and were regularly spotted on weekends driving his treasured 1957 Thunderbird, riding their bikes and playing Hearts on the beach with family and friends.

Bob Bennett is survived by his wife of 38 years and stepdaughters, Barbara Rynkowski, Valery Cordrey, Sharon Sherwood and Cheryl Blackman. His grandchildren include Casey Hershelman, Christopher Cordrey, Chance Cordrey, Van Tyler Sherwood and Triever Sherwood. Bob smiled at the news of his first great-grandchild, Grant Hunter Hershelman, born May 10, 2013.

Bob was the youngest of three siblings. He was predeceased by his sister Dorothy Bennett Taylor; and is survived by his brother Harold and wife Norma Bennett of Camden. His surviving nieces and nephews are Harold Bennett of Rehoboth, Lynn Farina of Dover, Donald Prather of California, Nancy Northrup of Texas and David Prather of California.

There will be a gathering of friends and family to celebrate a life well lived at The Cordrey Center, 30366 Cordrey Road, Millsboro, for all who would like to attend, Saturday, June 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider a donation to the Delaware Veterans Administration (135) and Community Living Center, 1601 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19805.

Bob’s uniquely warm disposition and spontaneous, genuine smile will keep his memory alive by all who shared in his life.