James W. Bennett, also known as “Tiger, Gilbert or Big Red” age 84, passed away with his family by his side on Friday April 9, 2021 at his home in Osceola. Jim was born November 8, 1936 in South Bend to the late Melvin and Ruby (Clayton) Bennett. Jim attended Mishawaka High School and in 1959, he joined the US Army where he earned the rank of E-4 before his honorable discharge in 1961. On January 7, 1967, he married Elaine J. Franklin in Bourbon, Indiana.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Elaine J. (Franklin) Bennett and their children James Todd (Kim Barner) and Jenny (Brian) Bellman, both of Osceola. Surviving as well are his grandchildren Kimberly Bennett, Brice Bellman and Kyle Barner, along with his siblings Bob (Judy) Bennett, Richard (Patt) Bennett, Ginny (Ray) Kardash, Bonnie (Don) Mass, Connie (Paul) Freet, and Blanche Holcomb. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law Ron (Sandra) Franklin, Terry Franklin and Mike (Nancy) Franklin and sisters-in-law Nancy (Bill) Larner and Patti (Bill) Wagoner. Jim was preceded in death by his infant daughter Lori Bennett, his brothers Melvin “Preach” Jr., Chuck, Ernie and John Bennett and his sisters Elizabeth Patrick and Hazel McCloskey.
Visitation will be held from 4-7pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at Cruz Family Funeral Home in Osceola. Funeral services will be held at 10 am Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at Cruz Family Funeral Home with interment and military honors to follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola.
Jim was employed for many years as a meatcutter at Wilt’s Supermarket and later with Gulf Stream Motor Coach until his retirement at the age of 64. In his spare time, Jim enjoyed watching westerns on tv, listening to country music, tinkering in his garage, and riding his bike.
Jim’s greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends and he was always quick to tell a funny story or (sometimes inappropriate) joke to make others laugh. His work ethic, sense of humor and witty humor will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
In Jim's memory, donations may be given to the Center for Hospice, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46544. To leave a message of comfort for the Bennett family, light a virtual candle in Jim's memory, or share a story of his life, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" W. Bennett, please visit our floral store.
The Center for Hospice
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545