James E. Bennett

ALTOONA, Fla.

James E. Bennett, 91, of Altoona, Florida, died Saturday, May 20, 2017.

He was born Dec. 1, 1925, in Freetown.

He most recently lived in Lakeview Terrace Retirement Community in Altoona.

Both he and his wife, Vivian Louise Otte, who died Jan. 21, 2015, graduated from Brownstown High School in 1944.

James, known as “Jim” or “Gene” to his friends, worked as a mechanical engineer in sales at FMC Corp. for 31 years, retiring in 1986. His entire working life was spent at FMC with jobs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati, Ohio; Wheaton, Illinois; and Aurora, Colorado. The couple initially chose to retire in Kennesaw, Georgia, before moving to Altoona more than 15 years ago.

They enjoyed world traveling and shared many other interests during their 68 years of marriage before Vivian’s death. He surprised family and friends when he taught himself to play the guitar later in life. Roger Miller’s song “King of the Road” was one of his first songs. At Lakeview Terrace, he enjoyed participating in karaoke and singing with the Troubadours.

Survivors include six children, Mary Etta (Jan Goes, deceased) Goes of Seattle, Washington, and Raleigh, North Carolina, Carl (Sue Broeren) Bennett of New Franken, Wisconsin, Deborah (Al Hanulik) Williams of Palm Coast, Florida, Rita (Woods) Allee of Denver, Colorado, Kirk (Lana) Bennett of Flemington, New Jersey, and Jim (Sue) Bennett of Mukilteo, Washington; 11 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Jim and Vivian’s family circle extended far beyond the biological family to the communities in which they lived.

The family is especially grateful for the professionalism and loving care their parents received at Lakeview Terrace. Building a closely knit family was the most important thing in Jim and Vivian’s life. Their love and guidance nurtured a family of strong individuals who carry on their legacy of love.

No memorial service is planned at this time. Beyers Funeral Home in Umatilla, Florida, handled the arrangements.

Condolences may be shared at beyersfuneralhome.com.