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William C. Bennett Jr.

July 17, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

William C. Bennett Jr., age 85 of Grinnell, died on Monday morning, July 15, 2019 at UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell with Pastor Kirsten Klepfer officiating. Interment with military honors will be at Hazelwood Cemetery in Grinnell. A reception will follow at the church.

A public viewing will be held from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Friday at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell.

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William C. Bennett Jr.

Memorials may be designated to the First Presbyterian Church or to the Bill Bennett Great Grandchildren Education Fund, mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with Bill's family online at

William C. Bennett, Jr. was born the son of William C. Bennett, Sr. and Lorene (Weaver) Bennett in southwestern Iowa. He was raised on the family farm and graduated from Greenfield High School in 1951. He received a Bachelor of Science and master's degree in agriculture from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Bill honorably served in the United States Army Reserves at Fort Des Moines during the early 1950's. He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Thelma "Arlene" Skellenger on June 12, 1954 at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenfield, Iowa. Together they were blessed with a daughter, Denise and a son, David. Bill taught vocational agriculture at Reinbeck schools for two years and at Tama schools for ten years. In 1966, they moved to Grinnell where Bill worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company as a farm loan representative and he began farming in the New Sharon area in 1967 and the Grinnell area in 1980. They farmed the land until his retirement.

Bill was an outdoorsman who loved to take his family boating, camping, hunting and fishing. He was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell and the Masonic Lodge in Grinnell. He was also a member of the FFA, 4H and Farm Bureau. His enjoyments included playing cribbage, checkers, and the marble game Aggravation. He will be remembered for the love of his family, his generosity in always putting others needs ahead of his, and for being humble and kind.

Bill is survived by his wife of 65 years, Arlene Bennett of Grinnell; daughter, Denise (David Sears) Bennett of Grinnell; son, David (Julie Owens) Bennett of Grinnell; grandson, Aaron (Megan) Grace of Grinnell and their children, Hunter and Wyatt; granddaughter, Lana (Tom) Sellner of Marion, Iowa and their son, Bennett. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Don Bennett and Richard Bennett.



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