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Kenneth Earl “Bud” Bennetts, age 91, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, December 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 and attended Lansing Eastern High School and Michigan State University.

He initially began his military career by joining the Michigan National Guard, enlisting in the U.S. Navy when World War II began and served as a medical corpsman in the Asiatic-Pacific theater and helped liberate the Philippine Islands. In 1956, he left the U.S. Navy to join the U.S. Air Force where he as 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” M. 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 California and Lynne (Bill) Hughes of rural Stanton; six granddaughters, Kimberly Bertrand, Nicole Bertrand of California, Kristin (Jeff) Nicol of Utah, Tami (Trever) Harkness of Greenville, Sindi (Michael) Leak of Mount Pleasant, Holli (Kevin) Allen of Belding and Julie Hughes of Traverse City; great-grandchildren, Kailyn and Brody of California, Dalton, Kylie and Brendon of Utah, Keegen and Keeleigh of Greenville, Tarryn (Nanette) of Belding, Seth, Kyle, Trayton, Mara and Tristyn of Mount Pleasant, Tatum and Tayah of Belding; siblings-in-law, Bill and Jackie Trefry of Eaton Rapids; nephews, Mark (Tina) Trefry of Kansas, Steve (Nancy) Trefry of Illinois, Marc (Kathy) Bennetts of Lansing; a niece, Stacey (Paul) West of Eaton Rapids; several great nieces and nephews; and one great-great nephew.

Visitation with the family is from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Settlement Lutheran Church, 1031 S. Johnson Road, Gowen, where memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Pastor Betsy Kamphuis will officiate and military honors, rendered by the U.S. Air Force, will conclude the ceremonies with a luncheon immediately following in the church hall. Honoring Ken’s wishes, cremation has taken place. For those desiring to do so, the family has suggested memorial contributions be made the either the VFW Children’s Home of Eaton Rapids or to Spectrum Health United Foundation.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Ken’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit: Arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, honored providers of Veterans Funeral Care.


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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on December 29, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Posted by: Tami

    So hard to believe it’s been a year since you went home. We miss you. We miss your laugh and your hugs. We miss your advise and your determination. Loving and missing you today, Papa.

    Posted by: Carol Snell

    Ken, you will be so missed. I always felt like an had “another” Papa. Thank you for including me in your thoughts and love. You were an amazing person, and I so love being a part of your family. It truly means the world to me.

    Now, for your handy work, there was no one like you. I will cherish my stools for ever, I use them EVERY SINGLE day, and think of you each time I do.

    You were generous, kind, and always helping, doing or making something for people around you, now you rest.

    I love you Ken, and your lovely family; your daughters, their families, grandchildren, and great grand children.

    It is an honor to honor you.

    Posted by: Kathy L. Barnes
    I have been blessed to be able to call you “Dad”. Your heart was big enough to include me in it.

    Dad, may you always have “fair winds & following seas” and as you mount up on the wings of eagles, I look forward to the time when I can see you again. Hooah!

    Thinking of you wish love this day & always. Kathy

    Posted by: Leslie Vereeke

    I am truly blessed to have had the great pleasure of knowing you Papa. You truly touched my life in so many ways. Just the look in your eyes could say so much to me. I will forever have a special place in my hart for you. Thank you for being my favorite critic at work, and for welcoming me into a small part of your life. You are very loved and missed.

    Posted by: Ken Bertrand
    To the daughters and grandchildren/family of Ken
    “DAD” Bennetts – I will always remember him as a kind
    loving,humble man who was everyones friend. My personal relationship with Ken as his son-in law was a
    unique one over the years,
    after the divorce from his
    daughter – he and I never
    lost the love/respect for each over the years. I am
    eternally gratefull for having known Ken Bennetts.


    Posted by: Elizabeth Howland

    I wish I had gotten to know you better. I am so thankful you were able to spend your final years in the love of Lynne and Bill’s home. Love to all the family.

    Posted by: Lynne Hughes

    How does a daughter say goodbye to the one person who loved me unconditionaly, you guided me without judgement and who taught me to always give of myself especially to those less fortunate? How do I say goodbye to my rock, the one man in my life that I could always count on, lean on and believe in? Perhaps it is not goodbye but “I will be with you again when it is my time to go”. Not sure why God wanted you now and why I couldn’t have you with me for a little longer. Perhaps Mom needed you more. Daddy I love you so much…thank you for the memories that I will keep in my heart forever. Your loving daughter, Lynne

    Posted by: Mercedes Aguirre
    I only knew ” grandpa” for a short time, he insisted that i call him grandpa :) Grandpa always had a smile on his face every time i saw hi, even at 5 o’clock in the morning he was wide awake to greet me. He wa an awesome person. Prayers sent your way!

    Posted by: Vanessa Haynes

    Sorry to hear about ken he was a joy to be around.I know we will all miss him in the lab.

    Posted by: Terri B.

    It was a great pleasure knowing Ken. Sending love and prayers to his family.

    Posted by: Holli Allen
    I lover you soooo much grand-P. We will miss you!!! Im so glad that my children were able to make many memories with you. Tell grandma we love her too.
    Thank you for being my HERO.

    Posted by: Tami

    This is our time to cherish~ it’s a time to hear all the amazing stories~ a time to capture, once more, the vision of his smile~ a time to embrace the best of our Papa and to memorize for all time the gifts of his precious life.


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