Died: Sun., Sep. 5, 2021


4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Fri., Sep. 17, 2021
Location: Phillips Temple CME Church

Celebration of Life

5:00 PM Fri., Sep. 17, 2021
Location: Phillips Temple CME Church

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Defying our predictions that he would outlive us all due to his sheer orneriness, delight in telling intriguing tall-tales, and his incessant need to take full credit for the best bbq ribs in Indianapolis, James Edward Bennett went home to be with the Lord on September 5, 2021. This beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather was doing what he loved doing - preparing some slabs of those delicious don’t-even-need-no-sauce ribs and thus, proved us all wrong.

James was born October 18, 1946, in Fulton, Missouri to Edna Pauline Kibby and James Turner Mason Bennett and, according to him, he was the first child in the family born in a hospital instead of the family homestead at 818 Vine Street. Shortly thereafter, his Aunt Wank, Gwendolyn Pasley, brought he and his mother to Indianapolis.

James attended public schools #36 and #41 and Shortridge High School before joining the United States Navy. The Navy afforded James many adventures and opportunities – like the time he and his shipmates pretended they were The Temptations while on leave in Hong Kong and were invited on stage, in front of a live Chinese audience, to sing the latest Temptation’s songs they had practiced aboard ship. What some sailors won’t do for free booze and women! Later in life, while on the gambling ship The Rising Sun, James was asked to join the Temptations on the stage where he performed with them in person.  (Yes, this is a true story verified by his wife.)

As a sailor, he also lived in the Philippines, where he lived a life on the straight and narrow and never engaged in any illegal activities – at least that’s what he wrote home to his mother. He even sacrificed a limb for his country when a horrific accident aboard ship caused a heavy crate to fall - crushing his thumb in the process. In a long, complicated, and experimental process called pollicization of the index finger, Navy doctors were able to move his index finger over to where his thumb had previously been. This enabled him to grasp with that hand again. After leaving the Navy, James was the Recreation Manager at Fort   Benjamin Harrison before joining the United States Postal Service from which he retired.

James had many passions in life. He enjoyed fishing and took trips back to Fulton to fish with his uncles. He also loved teaching his children and grandchildren how to fish. If you knew him well, you’d know that he loved the sport of basketball best – playing when he was younger, coaching, and, eventually, watching his grandchildren play. He also enjoyed a good game of Tonk. More than anything, family meant the world to him, and with age, he grew into the role of patriarch with dignity and grace surrounded by those who loved him and those he loved.

In 2008, Wilma Faye (Stone) Bonds finally made an honest man of him and accepted his proposal of marriage after many years of togetherness. To that union two families were merged: one gaining a Momma/Mommy/Granny Faye, the other a Pops/PawPaw/Bennett. James was preceded in death by a son, Gemee Bennett, a stepson James Alcantara and grandsons Clinton Ron Walker and Justin Lamont Bonds, Sr. He leaves to cherish his memory: his wife, Wilma Faye Bennett; daughters Candace (Clint) Walker, Cynthia Woods, and Denise L. Bennett; sons Cullen Bennett and Romon Bennett; stepsons Gary (Heather) Bonds, Kevin (Shannon) Bonds, Errol Gordon; Stepdaughters, Eretha Jean (Kenny) Hooten, Alberta Alcantara and Maria Alcantara; sister Victoria Bennett Brinson; brother-in-law, William Dwight Jones; sisters-in-law, Lisa Jones and Peggy (Bill) Simmons; brother from another mother, Moses McClair; aunt, Rosalind Ford: and 30 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.



Lovingly Submitted………..…..The Family


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Ivy hughes
   Posted Fri September 10, 2021
Sorry to hear that my friend is gone. Rest in p32eace.

David Hamilton
   Posted Fri September 17, 2021

White Rose and Calla Fireside Basket was sent by Wayne and Lynn Hamilton .

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your loved one. Please know that you are in our continued prayers. David(Wayne) and Lynn Hamilton.

John McClure & Mary Hicks Carter ( Atlanta, Georgia)
   Posted Fri September 17, 2021
Cynthia and family, we are saddened to learn of the death of your father. We are thinking about the family and praying for you as you go through this challenging time.

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