Cover photo for Bill Bennett's Obituary
Bill Bennett Profile Photo
1934 Bill 2023

Bill Bennett

November 29, 1934 — October 23, 2023

‘Remarkable’ Bill Bennett, aka Daddy Bill, was a force larger than life; a deeply loved, inspirational treasure who kept those who were fortunate enough to know him laughing and always will.


Kindhearted, forgiving, honest, trustworthy, loyal, devoted, humble, sentimental, humorous and conscientious are just some of the many ways to describe him, epitomizing what Apostle Paul described in his epistles: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another… Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”


Daddy Bill loved all people and many things. Among them were basketball; his friends; chatting with anyone, of any age; laughter; music (especially country and love ballads); his freshly shined oxfords; baseball caps; golf; big breakfasts; the clouds, mountain vistas and all of nature; traveling; building homes for his family to enjoy; his car; his humble beginnings; his mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles, nieces & nephews; his in-laws; Sister Julia Francis and St. Mary’s Academy; Doris Day; his college days; reminiscing; selling for Celanese & Virginia Chemicals; creating his Benco business and working hard to provide for those dear to his heart.


He held tender affection for his days at Emory & Henry College where he played basketball (four-year letterwinner, Sports Hall of Fame 1972, Smoky Mountain Athletic Conference honors, Most Valuable Player of SMAC tournament 1955 and Methodist College All American); studied and taught Chemistry; served on the Board of Trustees as a passionate advocate; created lifelong friendships; serenaded “My Secret Love” to his beloved Cathy; and began his new family.


Of all the things he loved, more than anything Dad loved this family. Coming from exceedingly humble beginnings, in Golden Pond Kentucky at a time when moonshine & marbles were the sports of the day, Dad dreamt of a better life. Picking himself up by the bootstraps, his entire life revolved around working hard, scrimping and saving so that he could build a better life and leave something of value, both tangible & intangible, for those he loved. With this endeavor completed and firmly secured, Bill reluctantly left us on October 23, 2023 leaving his wife Cathy; son Rick (wife Mary); daughter Jeni (husband Lee); grandchildren Patrick (wife Anna), Ana and Natia; and great-granddaughter Lena, all better off in every way.


Dad was laid to rest amongst vivid wildflowers on a mountain overlooking Emory & Henry College on a beautiful fall day, the clouds just as he liked. There we let go, just as the golden leaves cut loose from their branches. He will be deeply missed. But he will be often remembered. As the Stoic, Seneca, once wrote “why lament having lost him, if it be of no avail to have possessed him? … a great part of those we have loved, though chance has removed their persons, still abides with us. The past is ours, and there is nothing more secure for us than that which has been.”


We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have had this remarkable man intimately in our lives.



Memorial donations can be made online ( or by check mailed to PO Box 950, Emory, VA 24327. Please designate “Massey-Bennett Scholarship”.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bill Bennett, please visit our flower store.


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