Thurman Wesley Bennett, 86, at rest on October 11, 2018, was born on September 14, 1932 in Sedalia, Kentucky to Wesley Lee & Avis Bryant Peel Bennett. He was the fifth born of eight children. After graduating from Cottage Grove High School in 1950, he attended the University of Tennessee at Martin studying Agriculture and Animal Husbandry. In 1952 he enlisted in the United States Air Force.
Thurman began working at age twelve at the local sawmill, and at age 15 began to travel to Chicago to work in the factories. It was during his first summer in Chicago that he met June Ethel Waters, who became his wife in 1953. He said to his sister Mazelle when he first spotted June walking down the ally in Chicago that he was going to marry that girl, and so he did. After serving 18 months in England with the USAF, he and June were stationed in Rapid City, South Dakota, where they had their first son, David Wesley. Other children, Denise Ethel, Dale Robert and Duane Arthur followed while they made their home in Chicago, Illinois and Thurman attend the Washburn Trade School. He was a hardworking man, providing for his family as a life-long Lather and Carpenter. He proudly served as a Union member and President of Local 74. He retired in 1994.
Thurman was a devoted husband and father, and a Christian man who delighted in family and friends. He loved sail boating and being outdoors in his garden. Family vacations were epic adventures as he shared his love for the outdoors and wilderness with his family, traveling across the US and Canada. When his grandchildren came along, he did his best to share that same sense of fun and adventure with each of them, taking them on long walks and telling his stories to another generation.
After June’s death in 2007, he met and married Willodene Hansel Jackson in 2009. They resided in Como and Paris Tennessee until declining health required them to live apart. Still, they spoke nearly every day. Dene recently passed in September 2018.
Thurman leaves a strong legacy of faith, and love for his family, and kindness to friends and strangers. He loved a great story or joke, was known for his sense of humor, wit, joke-telling, playing pranks, twinkling eyes and big smile, even during times of struggle.
Surviving children are David Bennett (Cynthia), Denise Bennett (Irma Lopez), Duane Bennett (Jean), Steve Jackson (Stacey) and Norge Roi (Judy Turner). Son, Dale Robert Bennett (Catherine) passed away January 2014.
Grandchildren are Jake Prieto, Michelle Shimizu, James Bennett, Leigh Bennett, Cody Bennett, Lauren Bennett, Bradley Bennett, Brooke Bennett, Elise Bennett, Dayle Bennett, Sarah Jackson and Tyler Jackson. He was a fond uncle to 32 nieces and nephews.
Visitation Saturday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. at CENTRAL CHAPEL, 6158 S. Central Ave., Chicago, IL.
Additional Visitation Monday, Oct. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m., at RIDGEWAY FUNERAL HOME, 201 Dunlap Street, Paris, TN 38242. 731-642-2121, and continue Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 10 to 11 a.m. Funeral Service Tuesday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m., at Ridgeway Funeral Home. Burial Olive Branch Cemetery, Cottage Grove, TN.
FLOWERS SHOULD BE SENT TO RIDGEWAY FUNERAL HOME, NOT CENTRAL CHAPEL.
Please visit THURMAN W. BENNETT BOOK OF MEMORIES to express your thoughts or share your stories in the online guest book, visitwww.chapelc.com or www.facebook.com/centralchapel. Info.,773-581-9000.