Marion R. Bench

  • Visitation:  Private
  • Location:  O'Connell Funeral Home
     30 Little Plains Road. Southampton
  • Funeral Service: Water Mill Cemetery in Water Mill, NY
  • Service Type: Private
  • Memorial Service: Sacred Heart Church in Ocean Beach, CA at a later date

  • Biography

    Died:  December 18, 2010
    Age:    99
    Bench, Marion R. (Mulligan, Enright)
    One of the pioneer women in personnel management and one of the first WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in the U.S. Navy.
    Marion R. Bench died on December 18, 2010 at 1:25 a.m. at La Jolla Nursing and Rehab in La Jolla, CA. She was 99 years old. She was born in Larchmont, NY; graduated from Manhattanville College in 1933. She became associated with the Real Estate Management firm of Brown, Wheelock, Harris, Stevens in New York City until the outbreak of World War II. She was one of the first WAVES chosen and sent to Washington as an Assistant to Mildred McAfee; she was commissioned a Lt. JG August 4, 1942 the day the bill was passed creating the WAVES. She selected 90% of the first 1,000 women to be sent to Officer Training Schools. In January 1943 she replaced a U.S.N. Lt Commander Liason Officer between the Bureau of Naval Personnel and the Congress, Senate, White House, Secretary of the Navy in connection with appointments and assignments of male officers. She was discharged on September 1945 with the rank of Lt. Commander, USNR.
    In October 1945 Mrs. Bench became Administrative Assistant to Norman Bel Geddes; supervised and managed production of the model photographic history of “The Battle of Midway” for the U.S. Navy. In addition to supervising personnel and managing the firm, she worked with Mr. Geddes in decorating LaRue, Barberry Room and the Persian Room. Later managed the E. E. Brooke Placement Agency until in 1949 she became Office Manager for the law firm of Chadbourne, Parke until she retired in 1957.
    Mrs. Bench was a member of the Law Office Managers Association; an instructor at the Practicing Law Institute on personnel techniques; the first woman officer of the N.Y. Personnel Management Association; and wrote articles on personnel.
    Mrs. Bench moved from East Hampton, NY to San Diego, CA in February 1994 and lived at Wesley Palms in Pacific Beach, CA until February 2005 when she moved to La Jolla Nursing and Rehab in La Jolla, CA.
    Mrs. Bench is predeceased by her husband Edward C. Bench and her brothers Deacon Bob Mulligan and Arthur Mulligan. She is survived by several nieces and nephews. Funeral services at the Water Mill Cemetery in Water Mill, NY will be private. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date at Sacred Heart Church in Ocean Beach, CA.

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