Roosevelt Bennett of Lebanon, Ill., born Dec. 19, 1925, in Jonestown, Miss., passed away Monday, Jan. 13, 2013.
Roosevelt was raised by his grandfather Will Hornburger. His life was largely shaped by his teenage years when, in 1944, he joined the U.S. Army. At times throughout his life, Roosevelt admitted that he altered his birth year to 1925 in order that he could join the Army at age seventeen and serve his country. U.S. Census records indicate that Roosevelt was born in 1927.
Roosevelt served as a Private First Class in the 428th Port Company in the New Guinea Campaign and the Philippines Campaign, two major military campaigns of World War II. He performed honorably and was decorated with both the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal. Roosevelt carried emotional scars from his military service that shadowed him throughout his life; however, he was a survivor and was fiercely independent. Roosevelt lived life on his own terms, indifferent to fear and regret or the scorn of others.
Roosevelt was a master carpenter and shared his knowledge of carpentry with many young people. Although he had to leave school after completing the 8th grade, Roosevelt was an intelligent man--a voracious reader who always was open to discovery. Those who loved him appreciated his passion for politics and that he was never one who was shy about his opinions and beliefs. Materially, he possessed little, but he was rich in friends. Roosevelt Bennett was an imperfect man, in an imperfect world, who was wise in many things.
Roosevelt was preceded in death by his son, Roosevelt Bennett Jr.; his brother, Sam Bennett Jr.; and his parents, Essie and Sam Bennett.
Roosevelt is survived by his daughter, Alicia D. Bennett; step-daughter, Sharon D. Greene; step-grandson, Michael L. Slaughter; his brothers; Will and Willie Bennett; his former wife, Shirley M. Pettigrew; and many nieces and nephews.
If you would like to honor Roosevelt, please donate to The Balanced Mind Foundation in Evanston, Ill., or a Veteran's cause of your choice.
Visitation: Friends may call from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Greater Mount Olive M.B. Church, Lebanon, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Greater Mount Olive M.B. church, Lebanon, Ill., with Pastor W.J. Griffin officiating. Funeral procession will depart from the church at 12:30 p.m. for a 1:30 p.m. burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
MEYER FUNERAL HOME, Lebanon, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Jan. 17, 2013