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Council for Older Adults celebrating 20 years of helping seniors live at home

June 30, 2011

[caption width="250" caption=" Longtime Delaware City Attorney Dan Bennington, left, and Grady Memorial Hospital Development Director Sue Bennington retire together from their careers Thursday. (Gazette | Melissa Mackey) "][/caption]

MELISSA MACKEY

Staff Writer

Delaware husband and wife Dan and Sue Bennington expect a sense of loss when they both exit their community-oriented careers this week.

Dan Bennington, 65, the Delaware city attorney for the past 16 years and Sue Bennington, 64, the Grady Memorial Hospital Foundation director for the past 26 years, are retiring together today.

The couple said they didn’t have a lot of time together over the years due to their busy careers. Now that they will be seeing more of each other, it will take some getting used to, they joked.

“It’ll be an adjustment that we’re happy to make,” Dan Bennington said.

Dan Bennington had been contemplating retirement in 2008, but the downturn in the economy delayed those plans. With OhioHealth’s corporate-wide consolidation of positions, which included Sue Bennington’s development director position with Grady, the timing worked out for the couple to retire together.

Now more financially comfortable with retirement, the couple are looking forward to spending more time with their family and improving their golf game, but also realize that with retirement comes a separation from all the people they worked with over the years.

“We are so intertwined with people,” Dan Bennington said. “It’s something we’ll figure out outside of work.”

Dan Bennington reflected on the highlights of his career, including instituting municipal impact fees during the city’s rapid growth to help make development pay for itself, and working on the city and county’s 911 consolidation process which helped eliminate duplication of services.

Sue Bennington, who started fundraising efforts for Grady that have provided $17 million in philanthropic gifts, has helped make the hospital what it is today.

While she said she’s happy to live day-to-day, her husband will be taking on a volunteer position with the Ohio Supreme Court giving tours for fourth-graders.

He has no plans to go back into legal practice, something he did for a time before working for the city. Bennington practiced with Pete Manos and Doug Warnock from 1973 to 1981, then Doug Warnock from 1981 to 1995, before taking the city attorney position in April 1995.

“If I was going to practice, I would just stay where I am,” he said. “It’s the best job in Delaware.”

Both Benningtons have a long history of community service. He is a longtime member of the noon Kiwanis group; served on both the Ohio Wesleyan board of trustees and alumni board of directors, and as the United Way of Delaware County campaign chairman in 1991. Dan Bennington also is trying to reestablish the Fiji fraternity — known for its emphasis on scholarship and no alcohol policy — at the university.

Sue Bennington is a longtime member of the Delaware Rotary Club and in 1987 became the first woman president of the organization. She served for eight years on the Delaware City School board in the 1980s; was on the boards of United Way of Delaware County; the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce board; and on the Andrew’s House board.

The couple met while students at Ohio Wesleyan University, where Dan Bennington earned a bachelor’s in economics in 1968 and Sue Bennington obtained her bachelor’s in French in 1969. The two moved to Cleveland and he earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

The couple have two daughters, Toby and Lynsey, and one grandchild.