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Ernie “Benny” Bennett

Ernie “Benny” Bennett, 100, passed away February 19, 2011. He was born November 8, 1910 in Windyville, Missouri, the son of Joe B. Bennett and Alta Jane Wilson Bennett. His mother had a proud Heritage as a Native American (1/2 Cherokee) and Ernie was always cognizant of this heritage, as were his children.

Bennett was a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for 75 years. He married Bessie Braley in 1933, and together they began their family as sustenance farmers and laborers during the great depression. They moved to California during WWII to work in a defense plant building airplanes. After the War, they moved back to Tennessee to farm and work in the lumber industry.

He was a great gardener, raising probably 95% of his family’s foods. In 1965 they moved back to Pikeville to be near his daughters, building their own house by cutting the trees and milling the lumber and nailing it together as an awesome couple. You can only imagine the changes he saw from the horse, buggy and wagon age to astronauts living on a space station. Rest in peace until his Heavenly Father sounds the trumpet and he can pass those things made with hands as if carried on the wings of angels to the City of Gold.

Bennett was preceded in death by wife, Bessie Braley, and son, Neal Bennett.

Survivors include twin daughters, Shirley Burks and Charlotte Hollabough; son Joe Bennett; 20 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Services were held February 25 in the funeral home chapel with Pastors David Wendt and Lee Whitman officiating. Burial was in McDowell Cemetery.

Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements were made by Putnam-Reed Funeral Home in Pikeville.

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