It’s 1:30 in the morning. The memorial service ended hours ago. All the visits with family and friends ended minutes ago. Kathy’s asleep and I’m just now finding time to blog so, the easiest thing I can think of to share are the words I said at my dad’s memorial service.
I’m Kurt Bennett, Don Bennett’s son and my heart is broken, my dad died. But this is a memorial and there’s a lot of good we can remember today.
Like watching sports on television with dad.
I loved watching sports on television with my dad. He was actually more entertaining than whoever was playing on TV. He would become all animated, and scream and yell at the television about how the refs were making bad calls. He would accuse them of conspiracy. These referee conspiracies usually occurred against the team he was rooting for.
Dad was a story-teller. Many of you in this room have heard the words,
“Did I ever tell you about the time I worked at the club Allegro in Chicago?”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I met Giancana?”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I saved the kid from drowning at Lake of the Forest?”
One of my favorites was his story about the time he fought Golden Gloves in Chicago. He fought this big muscular guy named Tim Bursey. Dad knocked him out. The next day his picture was in the Chicago Tribune standing over Bursey. But the thing was, Bursey remained unconscious for a long time. When dad told me that story he teared up when he came to the part about how Bursey wasn’t waking up. When it happened he was afraid that Bursey might die.
He really cared about the guy. I’ll always remember that.
That’s what I admired most about dad. The way he cared about people and the way he loved people. Especially when he loved people on the margins. People different than he was. People I thought were lost causes. He didn’t see lost causes and he would make friends with these people. I remember growing up he was friends with this huge biker named Mad-Dog. This guy had long flaming red hair and a big flaming red beard. He looked like some kind of Viking. I was terrified of Mad-Dog. But dad loved this guy. There were all different kinds of people on the fringe that dad loved. I always admired that about him and he inspires me to try to be more like him in that way.
To close out my little part I’d like to read you something he wrote:
“When things were easy, and I did well, I was very quick to feel prideful and superior as opposed to thanking God for my successes. When things didn’t go well, rather than assessing my own performance, I usually blamed my failure on someone else or general circumstances. I wasn’t quick to understand that my successes were all the result of God’s gifts and my failures came about when I strayed from God’s words.
“I have found that when I attend church regularly and read my Bible things go well for me.
“Jesus came and not only died to wash away our sins but was the perfect example of humility and selflessness. It isn’t easy in today’s crazy world to follow the example Jesus set. When we focus on His example and love God, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we find ourselves so busy helping others that we don’t have time to be arrogant.”
My dad died, so my heart is broken. There are a lot of broken hearts in this room today.
But dad was a believer. So the day he died was the best day of his existence here on earth.
We mourn but we mourn for ourselves.
Because Don Bennett is in a place where he has hair to comb. And ears that hear. And loved ones to tell stories to. He dwells in the same place as his Savior.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:”
“Death is swallowed up in victory”
“O death, where is your victory?”
“O death, where is your sting?”
After he died, Susan, my dad’s cousin, posted on Facebook, “My wonderful, funny, loving cousin. Until we meet again.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
My wonderful, funny, loving dad.
Until we meet again dad.