Janis Bennett

Obituary
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Janis Verhey Bennett - JESUP - Janis Verhey Bennett, 84, of Jesup Georgia, died Saturday, August 2, 2014, at home, surrounded by her loving family and caregivers, and under the care of Hospice of South Georgia. Jann was born on November 10, 1929 in Memphis, Tennessee to the late Peter and Julia Verhey. She spent most of her earlier years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before moving with her parents to Prescott, Arizona where she graduated from high school. After the death of her father, she moved to Washington D.C. where Jann took a job as a writer at the Pentagon. The following year she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she met her husband, Dr. Larry Bennett. The two were married on June 22, 1951 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta. In 1952, the couple relocated to Jesup where she worked as a local correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mrs. Bennett has been quoted as saying, He went into dental practice, and I went into motherhood. As a wonderful mother, Mrs. Bennett worked tirelessly to instill good values in her children. She taught them above all that relationships with people were prized possessions, and that they were far more valuable than material things. Mrs. Bennett opened her home and her heart to people of all cultures and walks of life and taught her family that character was of utmost importance. Swimming was a major part of Mrs. Bennett's life from an early age. In high school, she swam for a team that had a long history of domination in winning state championships. After Jesup's swimming program was founded, she decided to take the coaching position. Through many years of hard work and dedication, the program was built into one of the strongest and most respected in the area because of her year round training program. Hundreds if not thousands of people learned to swim, many competitively, thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Bennett. She was especially proud of one of her more accomplished swimmers, David Larson, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games. Mrs. Bennett had a way of bringing out the best in her students and believed that hard work was the only way to achieve excellence. However, she stressed not just swimming, but good sportsmanship. She felt that it was just as important to learn how to lose as to win, because everyone can't win. In 2002 she was inducted into the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame where she will be fondly remembered for years to come for her contributions to the lives of the youth of Jesup and Wayne County. Outside of swimming, Mrs. Bennett was an active member of the community. She was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church where she served on the Altar Guild, sang in the choir, and, for many years, taught Sunday School, serving as a mentor to countless children. Mrs. Bennett also made time for dance lessons. She enjoyed tap and ballet, but especially loved the Swing and taught her grandsons how to dance with a lady. Her hobbies included tennis, bicycling, treasure hunting on the beach, collecting sharks teeth, painting, and hiking in the mountains. Mrs. Bennett and her husband hiked the Appalachian Trail and also rode their bicycles to Tallahassee, Florida, which she fondly recalled as her favorite trip of all time. She loved animals of all kinds, often adopted strays that she found around town, and was an avid supporter of ARF of Wayne County. Even with the hectic schedule Mrs. Bennett kept, she always found time to spend with her family. Her grandchildren were the light of her life and she cherished every moment she spent with them. She is survived by her husband of sixty-three years, Dr. Larry Bennett of Jesup. She has four daughters, eleven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren with one on the way. Oldest daughter, Julie Bennett Sample, and her husband, Woody, live in Oxford, Mississippi. They have three daughters and three sons-in-law. Kasey and Todd Lemkin are the parents of Camp, Ryder, Forest, and Dublin. Lawren and Jesse Hoy are the parents of Woodley. Abigail and Will Etling have a child on the way. Widget Bennett Richards and her husband, John, live in Atlanta. They are the parents of Nicholas, Mark, and Tom Richards. Jody Bennett Reichel and her husband, Rob, live on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. They have one daughter and a son-in-law, Morgan and John Hawk. Morgan and John have a son, Cooper. They also have three sons, Andrew Reichel, Jeffrey Reichel, and John David Reichel. Maggie Bennett Missel and her husband, Chris, live in Jesup. They have a son and a daughter-in-law, Lawrence and Ashley Missel. Lawrence and Ashley have one son, Bennett Missel. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 8, 2014 at Howard & Jones Funeral Home in Jesup. A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with the Reverend Dee Shaffer officiating. Remembrances may be made to Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Blvd. Jesup, GA 31545 or St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 745 South Palm St., Jesup, GA 31546. Please sign our guestbook online at www.jesupfuneralhome.com Howard & Jones Funeral Home Jesup, GA 912-427-3721 Savannah Morning News August 4, 2014 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries.


Funeral Home
Howard &Jones Funeral Home
777 S 1St St Jesup, GA 31545
(912) 427-3721
Funeral Home Details
Published in Savannah Morning News on Aug. 4, 2014
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