OBITUARY

George William Bennett Jr.

May 8, 1953November 30, 2018

George Bennett passed away peacefully on November 30, 2018. He was a kind and considerate man whose goal in life was to make people smile, which he did well. George served in the police force on Long Island, NY, for over 20 years and was a first responder to the 9/11 tragedy. Special thanks to Grace Healthcare for the care and comfort they provided and to South Breeze, his previous residence, where he was most happy - singing and playing spoons. A memorial service will be held at The Church of the Holy Apostles in Collierville, at 6:00 pm on Thursday, December 6th. Because of his love for children and animals, in lieu of flowers, memorials for George can be sent to the Collierville Animal Shelter or the Mitochondrial Foundation (www.umdf.org.) George loved watching Roy Rogers growing up, so, as he departs, we say, "Happy trails to you, until we meet again." You were a blessing to us all and will be missed. Love you always.

REMEMBERING

George William Bennett Jr.

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Donna Burk

January 18, 2019

“The Blues Brothers “ and their sister
boppin’ around Graceland in May 2017.
We spent many hilarious hours singing along to songs from “our old times” and doing the usual... LAUGHING WITH OUR GEORGE!
Keep Smiling, my brother!
“Oooh, Donna” (and “Graff-ite”)

Donna Burk

January 18, 2019

“OUR GEORGE”... (Part 1)

I first met George in the beginning of 1976 at Penney‘s Department store on Long Island. George was working in the camera department and I, being the avid picture taker that I am, spent many hours with George conversing and laughing over that counter for the next four years until I moved out of state.
We then kept in touch over the years through letters, phone calls and numerous cards. But it was the unimaginable times that will never be forgotten. Whether physically or just in spirit, I was with George through those years for pretty much every big event in his life, from his parents’ deaths, to his weddings, water baptism in a Texas lake, recovery from heart surgery, move from FL to TN, residency at South Breeze Assisted Living, and finally to dancing around with him as he was shuffling in a wheelchair in his last “home” (Grace) where he was so loved.
All this cannot be told without mentioning the biggest part in my life. In 2001, as God was blessing me with a marriage to a wonderful man, I was also blessed with the surprise appearance of my faithful friend. As I was decorating the reception room the day before the wedding, this man walked into the room with glasses that I had never seen on his face and asked “Can you please tell me where the Burk wedding is?“ I turned and started to answer him, and suddenly realized who it was. GEORGE had not only flown to Texas, rented a car, and showed up for my wedding, but he joined right in on ironing tablecloths and whatever else needed to be done. He then went a big step further when he went so far as to pick up someone’s video camera and use it at the ceremony and, that evening, present us with the most beautiful video of our important day. Even if he had not given us that video, his efforts to be a part of "my special day" meant more than I could ever put into words.

Donna Burk

January 18, 2019

“OUR GEORGE “
( Part 2)

His devotion as a friend transferred over to my husband as well, and even to my dog. I’m sure many of you may remember that George had such a recollection of special events and occasions when it came to others. That’s why he never let a birthday go by without sending a card and calling. He even called to wish my dog Happy Birthday.

It’s years of friendship like this, that bring us to our later years with the love to face whatever it is we need to face. As George was struggling in his last years with dementia, he still made sure he was “OUR GEORGE”. Though the greeting cards stopped coming, his jokes never ended, his smiles seemed broader, and the look in his eyes always seemed much brighter shining with the love that he had for each of us. Even the last few years when I was going through my own stresses, I would always say when I needed a break “I need to go see George to have some laughs”.
But I think the biggest thing that dementia was never able to take its toll on was his big heart. I will never forget how he brightened up Carolyn’s life. She was another resident at South Breeze suffering with Alzheimer’s. Her daughter told us that George made such a big difference in her. He was so caring for her and everyone he came in contact with. Then there was the staff at Grace, who loved him so dearly because of his big heart and his amazing personality. I was so proud to call him “My” friend, my “brother.”
George is now wearing a heavy crown, and he’s probably weighted down with the load of JEWELS on it!
Wear it well, my forever DEAR friend! You have certainly earned it!
We will remember and love you forever!

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 18:24b

Donna Burk

January 18, 2019

“THE BLUES BROTHERS”

Bob Graff

January 8, 2019

How do you properly pay tribute to a great friend of almost 40 years? The words aren't easy. George and I met at J.C. Penney's in Sunrise Mall, Massapequa Park, Long Island, NY in 1979 and we became instant friends. But that was easy with George. We shared the same dry, sarcastic wit. We enjoyed hanging out with each other, be it at home watching football or at one of the many "watering holes" nearby (Plankhouse, OBI, The Evening Post or many other forgotten places over which time has misplaced their names). He was Jake to my Elwood, when we decided to dress up (with our shades) as the Blues Brothers. George even came up with the idea of dressing up as Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for a "long time ago" Halloween party. And YES - he talked me and 2 other guys into joining him!? George seemed to live and love to put smiles on the faces of others.

He was also a very caring and friendly person. George was one of those guys who would give you the shirt off his back. And you didn't even have to ask. I guess that's what drew him to the Auxiliary Police .. a sense of duty and concern to help others. More personally, he and his mother took me in when I was between jobs for a while. And George was the first person I reached out to when I lost a close friend years ago.

George was most definitely the life of the party! And he was also the biggest flirt I ever met! I was jealous of his ease with the ladies. And we both loved the pop and rock songs of the 60's and 70's. We knew most all the lyrics to the songs. Those we didn't .. well he just made them up. Or maybe that was on purpose? It didn't matter, because it got a laugh! He was all about enjoying life!

My buddy will definitely be missed. Thanks for the memories, George-ski! I can't imagine my life without you in it. Save a spot, a laugh and a beer for me up there!

Linda Shropshire

January 3, 2019

I was looking at the memories of George and noticed my message was not here so I will rewrite.
I met George at South Breeze where I am the Lifstyle Coordinator.
When he came to the facility with his brother for a tour I new we had to have him as a resident.
George made everyone smile and laugh. He so loved to sing, dance , tell jokes and was just the life of the party. He made friends with everyone and was there to help anyone he could.
He was a gentlemen and a friend.
George thank you for making me and all the residents smile and laugh. You will be missed. There will never be another person like you.
Heaven is lucky to have you and I know you are making all the angels laugh.
Miss you my friend.

Linda Shropshire

Bob Bennett

December 17, 2018

These kind words came from "Patricia Anna,' our dear cousin:

We can all be comforted by the great memories we have of George. He will always be my 'Baby Cousin,' and will never be forgotten. George was always smiling and always tried his best at whatever he did. His enthusiasm for photography was memorable and his stint in the volunteer police department showed his love and concern for others, never thinking of himself. George, letting us dress him up and put on makeup on one end of the spectrum to his being a first responder to 9/11, showed the broad goodness that he possessed. He was an important part of our lives. We enjoyed him thoroughly and will miss him.

Bob Bennett

December 5, 2018

After talking to many people from George's previous place of residence, South Breeze Assisted Living in Memphis, I realized that while Heaven is a beautiful and ideal place, it is probably more fun with George there!

Timothy Johnson

December 5, 2018

On behalf of the staff and residents of South Breeze Assisted Living we say "Happy Trails to you George" heaven has received a true angel!! We have missed you from the very first day you had to leave our community, we have thought of you often as we have laughed at your humor (you were always the life of the party) we shared story after story of how much fun you brought to our lives personally and the lives of your fellow residents, you had such a positive impact on our community, we will never forget you. Simply put, there was not a better example of a servant heart than that of George Bennett, he loved people, he loved to serve people and in return they loved him! We grieve your passing George but we celebrate your wonderful life!

Respectfully,
Tim Johnson, Administrator
South Breeze Assisted Living

Bob Bennett

December 4, 2018

What can one say when you lose someone who has meant so much to you over a lifetime? My overriding thought is, "Thank you." Thank you to God for sharing this absolutely amazing person with us and thank you to George for coming into our lives and spreading so much joy. He often accused me of saying, "Dont't tell Mommy" when something went wrong, but it is not necessary now for he is with God in a far better place than we could ever imagine. My words to him now are, "Say hi to Mom and Dad for me. I love you all and you will always be in my heart. "

FROM THE FAMILY