Valhalla Funeral Home & Valhalla Memory Gardens

698 Winchester Rd Ne, Huntsville, AL


Dr. Jefferson S. Bennett

August 4, 1935November 4, 2019

Dr. Jefferson S. Bennett, age 84, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away at home on November 4, 2019 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Joan Craffets Bennett, his daughters Kelly Dunn (John), Barbara Crowe (Jeff), Christina Cary (Paul), Becky Mink (Bill), 13 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, John Bennett (Vickie) and several nieces and nephews.

Jeff was born August 4, 1935 in Shelburn, Indiana as the oldest son of Nolan and Dorothy Bennett. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University in 1958 and went on to study at Michigan State University. In 1966, he attended the Quantum Chemistry Institute at the University of Florida. He completed his formal education with a PhD in physics from the University of Alabama in 1969.

Jeff was a physics instructor from 1958 - 1960 at Indiana State University. In July 1960, he began 6 months of active duty service in the U.S. Army reserves at Fort Leonard Wood, MO where he graduated from the U.S. Army Communications School. In 1961, he moved to Huntsville, AL to work for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and worked in the field of missile flight dynamics. In 1964, he transferred to the Physical Sciences DIrectorate, MICOM and began a long period as a research physicist. In 1977, he was assigned as Acting Deputy Director of the Research Directorate, MICOM and received a permanent appointment to that position in 1979. He continued to serve in that role until he assumed the job of Deputy Director of Weapons Sciences DIrectorate, RD & E Center, MICOM in 1990. He retired in 1996. During his career he received multiple scientific and engineering achievement awards and authored numerous technical publications. He also holds several U.S. Patents related to his work.

Our dad was an avid golfer, a fisherman, an Atlanta Braves fan, and a supporter of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide). He always had a summer garden full of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and okra. He was the ultimate repairman - we never had to buy a new toaster, curling iron, hair dryer, or vacuum cleaner because he could fix anything we ever broke. Dad was the smartest man we ever knew. He was loved dearly by his family, especially his grandchildren, who benefited greatly from Papa becoming a softie in his old age and enjoyed many family vacations with their grandparents. He also ensured a college education was financially accessible to each of his children and grandchildren.

Visitation with the family will be on Thursday, November 7 from 12:30 - 2:30 at Hazel Green United Methodist Church, where he was a member, with the funeral immediately to follow. Burial will be at Valhalla Cemetery. Pallbearers will be grandsons Mitchell West, Jeffrey Dunn, Luke Hayden, Noah Hayden and sons-in-law John Dunn, Jeff Crowe, Paul Cary, and Bill Mink. The family would like to thank Decatur Morgan West Geriatric Unit and Comfort Care Hospice of Huntsville for their kindness and care.. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Comfort Care Hospice of Huntsville, 3190 Leeman Ferry Rd, Huntsville, AL 35801.


  • Comfort Care Hospice of Huntsville


  • Visitation Thursday, November 7, 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 7, 2019


Dr. Jefferson S. Bennett

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