BEULAH — Robert G. “Bob” Bennett, 83, of Beulah, passed away Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City after a brief illness. Bob was born April 15, 1929, in Benzonia, the son of Benjamin G. and Florence C. (Short) Bennett.
Bob graduated from Benzonia High School in 1947. After attending Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) and a year of apprenticeship working for his father, he graduated from Wayne State Mortuary School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954 and was a member of the VFW.
Bob, along with three of his four brothers, ran the Bennett Funeral Homes in Benzonia and then Beulah along with locations in Bear Lake and Frankfort until his retirement in 1992. The Bennett family also ran the ambulance service for Benzie County until 1974.
Bob previously served as Benzonia Village president, and was on the draft board and allocations board for Benzie County. He also served on the Benzonia School Board in the 1960s during the time of consolidation of the community schools. He continued serving on the Benzie County Central School Board and one of his proudest moments was working with the other community schools during consolidation and coming up with the name of the school district.
Bob was a Life Member of the Benzie Area Masonic Lodge #444 and was a Past Worshipful Master. He received the Benzie Area Lodge #444 Mason of the Year award for 2012. He was a member of the Valley of Grand Rapids Scottish Rite and had recently become an Honorary Member of the Empire Lodge #597 and Crystal Lodge #270. He enjoyed attending other area Mason Lodges as well.
Bob enjoyed all sports having played many as a youth and he especially enjoyed playing golf, attending Traverse City Beach Bum games and occasional trips to the casino for slots.
He is survived by; sons, Brad L. (Marcia) Bennett of Holt; Andrew G. Bennett of Alexandria, Va.; and Robert B. “Rob” Bennett of Beulah; his grandchildren, Marisa (Jason) Southwell of Mason, Lisa (Mike) Merva of Athens, Ga., Brad J. Bennett of Holt, Nicole (Steve) Dunevant of Rougemont, N.C., Amber Mitch of Grand Rapids and Bill Mitch of Jackson. He is also survived by a special former daughter-in-law, Nancy (Dan) Mitch of White Lake; a special brother-in-law, Doug E. Joy, Sr. of Beulah; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Nola (Bradford) Bennett and daughter Kelly Lynn; his second wife, Sally L. (Vedder) Bennett; and his siblings, George A., Benjamin F. “Frank”, Cyril H. “Dusty”, Florence C. Jeluso, Helen E. Joy, and Amy L. Knight.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 14, 2013, at the Bennett-Barz Funeral Home in Beulah, with Reverend Brett Spalding officiating. Interment will follow in the Benzonia Township Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Saturday, April 13, 2013,
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
The Bennett-Barz Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, www.bennett-barzfuneralhome.com