RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes Inc.
15451 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 422-6720
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Janet DeHaan Bennett

1930 - 2019
Janet DeHaan Bennett Obituary
Janet DeHaan Bennett

Livonia - Janet DeHaan Bennett, age 89, passed away peacefully on September 29, 2019. Mrs. Bennett was born to William and Alice DeHaan in Detroit, Michigan. At age 11, Mrs. Bennett and her family moved to Royal Oak where she graduated from Royal Oak High School. Upon graduation, Mrs. Bennett attended Wayne State University where she was honored to serve as Governor's Lady in her senior year. She was a member of Delta Gamma Chi sorority and graduated with a degree in Social Work.

While at Wayne State, she met Robert Bennett and in 1953, she and Mr. Bennett were married. They were happily married for 62 years when Mr. Bennett passed away in September 2015. In 1958, Mrs. Bennett moved with her husband and infant daughter to Livonia where she became involved in many community organizations including the Children's Theater Guild, the Jackson School PTA, and the Girl Scouts.

Mrs. Bennett was active in many committees and organizations in the City of Livonia, including Livonia Town Hall and the Livonia chapter of the AAUW. She was a founding member of Friends of the Livonia Library and, along with Mr. Bennett, played a pivotal role in the development and construction of the Livonia Civic Center Library. In August, 2017 the Civic Center Library was renamed the Robert and Janet Bennett Civic Center Library. Mrs. Bennett served as President of the Friends for the Development of Greenmead for over 20 years. One of her proudest moments was seeing the completion of the Alexander Blue House renovations at Greenmead. In November 2003, with the Blue House completed, it was only fitting that the first event held there was the fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett.

Mrs. Bennett was an avid lover of history and reading as evidenced by her vast collection of books on world history, the sciences and fine arts. Her collection of books numbers in the thousands and it was her wish that her prized collection be donated to the Livonia Public Libraries upon her death. Mrs. Bennett was a lifelong supporter of the arts. She, herself, was an artist and she instilled a love of art and music in not only her children, but her grandchildren as well. Few things brought her more joy than attending a performance by the Livonia Symphony Orchestra or various performances at the Detroit Opera House. She loved to sing and rarely did a day go by that she couldn't be heard singing to herself or her children when they were young and later, her grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were quite a team. Together, there was nothing they couldn't do and no adventure too ambitious. When Mr. Bennett ran for City Council, Mrs. Bennett was there managing the campaign. And when Mr. Bennett ran for Mayor of Livonia, Mrs. Bennett was the driving force behind his victory. In April of 2000, they were named Livonia's First Citizens.

After retirement, the two of them enjoyed boating trips around the Great Lakes and traveling, all the while continuing their involvement in community events. Of all of Mrs. Bennett's activities, nothing brought her more joy and pride than her family.

She was the loving mother of Andrea (Charles) Sullivan, Lindsay (Roger) Spence, Robert (Shawn) Bennett and Joanna (Nigel) Travis and proud grandmother to Kate, Charlie, Robert, Natalie, Madeline, Ian, Brooke, Elin and Rowen and great grandmother to Mae. She is survived by her dearest sister, Joann Crain. Mrs. Bennett was predeceased by her parents and her beloved brother, William.

Funeral Services for Mrs. Bennett will be handled at the R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Home, 15451 Farmington Road, Livonia. Visitation will be Friday, October 4, from 4:00- 9:00 p.m. and the funeral service will be Saturday, October 5, at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, remembrance donations can be made to Friends for the Development of Greenmead. Please share a memory of Janet at

Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News on Oct. 3, 2019
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