John Botsford Bennett, Jr. known to all as Jim, and to some as Santiago, died peacefully at his home in Tucson on December 9, 2013. Jim lived in Tucson with his family since 1961, most of those years in an old adobe in the Fort Lowell neighborhood. Jim was born in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 1929. His father's job with Standard Oil moved the family all over the West. Jim attended 11 schools in 12 years. His fondest memories of growing up centered on Long Beach, Salt Lake and San Francisco. Summer jobs with Standard Oil saw Jim pumping gas at such sweet spots as the North Rim of Grand Canyon. After attending the University of Utah, Jim joined the Marine Corps. He trained at Camp Pendleton, earning respect for his marksmanship, and served two years in the Korean War. Jim worked as sales representative for Remington Arms, and later, most notably, Mead Johnson Pharmaceuticals, who he represented in Southern Arizona for 30 years. Before moving to Tucson, Jim owned Jim's Lair, a tavern in Milwaukee, Oregon. In Oregon he met and married Betty, his wife of 51 years. The family moved to Tucson in 1961, spending parts of most summers in Neskowin on the Oregon coast with Oregon relatives. On their yearly travels, Jim and Betty sought out and recommended great mom and pop restaurants they discovered along the way. Jim is survived by his wife, Betty; stepdaughters, Carol (Glenn) Masquelier, Beth (Alan Scott) Janes, Lyle Janes, all of Tucson, and Lyle's daughter Sarah Rubio and family of Seattle. Jim is also survived by his cousins Pete Bennett of Gladstone, Oregon and Jean Strom of Buffalo, Wyoming. Jim was a great host, a fine cook, and flawless bartender. His friends and family will long remember his booming baritone voice calling one and all to the table for memorable meals. Jim's gourmet feasts were always served up with a helping of his unfailing sense of humor. Besides cooking Jim enjoyed target shooting, golf, piloting light aircraft, and following the stock market. He was smooth on the dance floor and a formidable opponent at the bridge table. Jim will be missed by his family, friends and his invaluable caregivers who all loved him dearly. His memory will be best served by donations to The Old Fort Lowell Live-at-Home Program, POB 14633, Tucson 85732. Please visit www.eastlawnpalmsmortuary.com to leave a memory of Jim for his family. Jim, enjoy your wanderings in the Happy Hunting Grounds in the hereafter. We who are left behind miss you greatly.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star from Dec. 11 to Dec. 15, 2013