Msgt. Kenneth E. Bennetts
March 19, 1922-Dec. 29, 2013
Submitted by Jacqui Bennetts
Kenneth Earl "Bud" Bennetts, age 91, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, surrounded by his family at his home. The son of James R. and Sigrid (Ohmen) Bennetts, he was born on March 19, 1922 in Iron Mountain, MI, and attended Lansing Eastern High School and Michigan State University.
Ken initially began his military career by joining the Michigan National Guard, enlisting in the U.S. Navy when World War II began, serving as a medical corpsman in the Asiatic-Pacific theater, and helping to liberate the Philippine Islands. In 1956, he left the U.S. Navy to join the U.S. Air Force where he was a recruiter and hospital administrator until his retirement as a Master Sergeant in 1969. He was also a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
In 1943, he married "the girl next door," Miss Maxine Trefry. In retirement, Ken and Maxine made their lives in northern California where they spent many years in continued service to our fellow service men and women by serving in many offices within the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars including his time as District Commander.
Ken enjoyed his wood shop where he spent many hours making cradles and wooden toys for his Great-Grandchildren. Ken was known by his family as "Papa-Fix-It." There wasn’t much he couldn’t build or fix.
Ken enjoyed cooking, genealogy, cross-word puzzles, loom knitting, and plastic canvas, always wanting to give of him for others. He loved to share stories of his life in Iron Mountain and his military service.
After many years of enjoyment at their mountain home, they moved to Pleasanton, California to be near their daughter Jacqui. Ken again was involved with the VFW in Pleasanton serving as Post Commander. When his wife of nearly 63 years passed in 2006, Ken made the decision to move back to Michigan, where he made his home in rural Stanton near his daughter Lynne.
Ken was a very proud life member of Masonic Lodge No. 33 F&AM in Lansing, the V.F.W. National Children's Home in Eaton Rapids, the Lester J. Sitts VFW Post 5065 in Sheridan, and the Ray I. Booth American Legion Post 101 in Greenville.
He was also preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Roy Bennetts; and a sister-in-law, Clara Bennetts.
Ken will be missed by his two daughters, Jacqui Bennetts of Pleasanton and Lynne (Bill) Hughes of rural Stanton MI; six granddaughters: Kimberly Bertrand of Pleasanton, Kristin (Jeff) Nicol of South Jordan, UT, Nicole Bertrand of Fremont, CA, Tami (Trever) Harkness of Greenville, MI, Sindi (Michael) Leak of Mount Pleasant, MI, Holli (Kevin) Allen of Belding, MI and Julie Hughes of Traverse City, MI; great-grandchildren: Kailyn and Brody of California, Dalton, Kylie and Brendon of Utah, Keegen and Keeleigh of Greenville MI, Tarryn (Nanette) of Belding MI, Seth, Kyle, Trayton, Mara and Tristyn of Mount Pleasant MI, Tatum and Tayah of Belding MI; siblings-in-law, Bill and Jackie Trefry of Eaton Rapids MI; nephews, Mark (Tina) Trefry of Kansas, Steve (Nancy) Trefry of Illinois, Marc (Kathy) Bennetts of Lansing MI; a niece, Stacey (Paul) West of Eaton Rapids MI; several great nieces and nephews; and one great-great nephew.
Ken's wishes were to be cremated, and a Celebration of Life memorial service was held on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at Settlement Lutheran Church in Gowen, MI, officiated by Pastor Betsy Kamphuis. Full military honors were rendered by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard from Patterson Air Force Base and a flag line for the family was provided by the Patriot Riders from local branches in Michigan.
For those desiring to do so, the family has suggested memorial contributions be made to either the VFW Children’s Home of Eaton Rapids MI or to Spectrum Health United Foundation in Greenville MI.