Dr. Bennett A. Poter, 89, a retired Agriculture ydepartment entomologist and a Washington area resident for 53 years, died Thrusday at Washington Adventist Hospital of a ruptured aorta.
Dr. Porter specialized in fruit and vegetable insect control during his 45 years with the Agriculture Department. During his career there, he supervised research at more than 30 field stations, including those in Hawaii and Mexico City. He was in charge of the bureau of entomology and plant quarantine at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center when he retired in 1962.
Before moving to this area in 1928, he worked for USDA in Connecticut and Indiana.
Dr. Porter was the author of a number of articles in his field for the Agriculture Department and professional journals and contributed material to the current edition of The New Funk and Wagnulls Encyclopedia. He received the department's Superior Service Award in 1961.
A native of Northhampton, Mass., he earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in entomology from Massachusetts Agricultural College, now the University of Massachusetts. The university later awarded him him an honorary doctor of science degree.
Dr. Porter, who lived in Silver Spring, was a former president of the Entomological Society of America. He was a member of the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and as superintendent of the Sunday School.
His wife, the former Beatrice Josephine Hibbard, died in 1968.
Survivors include a daughter, Florence P. Givens of Bowling Green, Ohio; two sons, Bennett A. Jr., of Silver Spring, and Ernest R., of New Carrollton; four sisters, Elizabeth MacRae of Stoneham, Mass., Emily Erickson of Camden, Maine, Mary Rea of Northhampton, and Harriet Clough of Kalamazoo, Mich.; five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Organ Fund at Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.