Matthew "Matt" D. Bennett

December 23, 1970November 14, 2020

Matthew David Bennett was born on December 23, 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana to his proud parents, Rosanne Banich Bennett and Sylvester Walter Bennett Jr. From the moment he took his first steps and spoke his first words, Matt knew his dream was to become a “Fireman”. One of his mother’s fondest memories is when Matt was 4 and he dialed 911 to report a fire in the neighborhood just too simply see the Fire Trucks race by in route to the imaginary fire. This resulted in Matt being visited by the local sheriff to remind a tearful, repentant boy the importance of calling 911. Matt would continue his attraction to fire trucks by riding his bike to the local firehouse hoping for a chance to just get in. As a teen, Matt joined the Explorer Scouting Program that allowed youth to specialize in fire and rescue. This is where Matt’s passion began to flourish as he was exposed to mentors and opportunities to explore the world of firefighting, even if that meant only washing the trucks and rolling up hoses. From many and varied opportunities, Matt was able to build lifelong friendships. Matt continued to follow his dreams and transition into Junior and Cadet roles within the area firehouses.

Matt, a veteran firefighter of 23 years and a dedicated public safety servant of 38 years became a Wayne Township Reserve Firefighter in 1982, and on December 1, 1997 was appointed to the Franklin Township Fire Department, and later to the Indianapolis Fire Department when Franklin Township merged with IFD in 2010. Prior to his appointment Matt was an IFD Dispatcher and an EMT. All his years of service allowed him to be a well-respected, well-loved mentor, educator, and role model within the firefighting community.

In 2004 Matt welcomed his daughter, Samantha Rae, with her mother Lee Ann Bennett. Samantha would become the joy of his life, sharing Daddy-Daughter Dances and his love of country music. Samantha loved when he sang his favorite country songs along with the car radio, and visiting him frequently at the firehouse, learning early her father’s passion for firefighting.

When Matt was not busy fighting fires or saving the world, he enjoyed riding out on his motorcycle, often attending benefit rides with friends. Matt was also an avid camper, always ready to take his RV out and dreaming of retirement when he would be able to travel the country. Matt had a personality bigger than life and could be heard a mile away. Friends played an important role in Matt’s life. He was always ready to attend parties, often the planner for his family functions. Matt looked forward each year to the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) and St. Patrick’s Day. Matt was always busy around the house and household supplies were never in high demand as he loved to bulk shop. To maintain his figure Matt enjoyed his Diet Mtn Dew soda, gas station hot dogs, Qdoba and Long’s Donuts. Often known as “Grape Ape” by his friends and as the practical joker, Matt was always finding a way to have a good time. Matt loved his family and friends and was a reliable presence in his community, always ready to help. Very rare was there a place he went that he was unknown. Matt was preceded in death by his Father Sylvester W. Bennett Jr., his beloved Grandfather Anthony J. Banich Sr., Grandmother Florence Bennett Banich, Grandfather Sylvester W, Bennett Sr., and Grandmother Eva Mae Bennett.

Matt is survived by his daughter Samantha Rae Bennett, his life partner Carlita Hobert, Mother Rosanne Banich Bennett, Sister Jennifer Ann Bennett (Lorenzo), Brother Jeffrey Alan Bennett (Jonalyn), Sister Sarah Bennett Dillard (Jonathan), nephews; Deandre and Tyree Thompson, Timothy Edwards Jr., Joshua Dillard, niece Joie Bennett, Carlita’s daughter Alexandria Brouwer, son Chandler Brouwer, grandchildren; Grace Gwyndolyn and William Jr., along with a host of uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Matt also leaves behind his fellow brothers and sisters of the entire Indianapolis Fire Department.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2020 at Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Service by invitation only will be held on Monday, November 23, 2020. Service will be live-streamed through Crown Hill Funeral and Cemetery Facebook page approximately at 11 a.m. In Lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution and designate to be in Matt’s honor to: The Indianapolis Fire Buffs, PO Box 42057, Indianapolis, IN 46242


  • Visitation

    Sunday, November 22, 2020

  • Celebration of Life

    Monday, November 23, 2020


Matthew "Matt" D. Bennett

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Knight

November 23, 2020

I have known Matt since I was 17 years old. So many great memories.... You are truly one of a kind. Until we meet again my friend.

Robert Mason

November 19, 2020

I am Robert Mason a retired firefighter from Washington Township fire department. I have known Matt since he was 14 years old and was playing fire fighter behind my barn with my youngest son Mark. They would set small fires and put them out with a garden hose, there was no doubt Matt was going to become a fire fighter. I always enjoyed having Matt come by the fire house for a visit.

Mitzi Rogers

November 18, 2020

May The Lord find your family find comfort during this difficult time RIP Matt

Ron Higgins

November 18, 2020

Matt was a dear friend had so much fun with him and carlita at the Blake Shelton concert and dinner
Rest is peace big guy you will be missed by so many people
Love you see you on the other side

Denise Edick

November 17, 2020

“Some day soon, we all will be together if the fates allow. Until then we’ll have to muddle through some how.”
Love you cousin,

Donna Etter

November 17, 2020

Thank you for filling so many lives with Joy, Sunshine and Love.
I Love You to the Heavens My Cousin.

joe finneran

November 17, 2020

A Catholic Prayer Safely Home I am home in Heaven dear ones; Oh, so happy and so bright! There is perfect joy and beauty In this everlasting light. All the pain and grief is over, Every restless tossing passed; I am now at peace forever, Safely home in Heaven at last. Did you wonder why I so calmly walk the valley of the shade? Oh! But Jesus ' love illumined every dark and fearful glade. And He came Himself to meet me In that way so hard to tread; And with Jesus' arm to lean on, Could I have one doubt or dread? Then you must not grieve so sorely, For I love you dearly still; Try to look beyond earth's shadows, Pray to trust our Father's Will. There is work still waiting for you, So you must not idly remaineth You shall rest in Jesus land. When that work is all completed, He will gently call you Home ; Oh, the rapture of that meeting, Oh, the joy to see you see you come!

edward powell

November 16, 2020

Big Matt will truly be missed one of the greatest Firemen i had the pleasure to work with and known since he was a teenager Matt knew no stranger!! If you ever meet matt you know what i'm talking about!! He gone way too soon but god must needed a great firemen in his kingdom until we meet again

Amber Wallace

November 16, 2020

I will always remember how bigger than life Matt always was. He made a friend out of anyone he met.
Always a kind person. My friend you are going to be greatly missed.