Dennis Bennett, truck driver and musician, joined the army at age 17


Dennis Bennett (1932-2023)

Dennis Carl Bennett enlisted in the US Army in 1949, barely 17 and still at Hononegah Community High School. He earned his GED later.  After his time in the army, he worked in manufacturing, sales and retail before eventually becoming a long haul semi owner and operator. After working and retiring as a driver, he retired to La Feria, TX, with his wife of 63 years, Sharon. 

He passed away on Friday, November 10, 2023.

Dennis was born on November 7, 1932. He was one of the "Rockton 6", which included his older brother John Bennett, Channing Fischer, James Pozzani, Richard Crouch, and Lawrence McGonigal. As the Rockton Herald reported on Jan. 1, 1953, "the boys grew up together in Rockton, enlisted together and took their basic training together. They all saw service on the front lines in Korea, although they were separated during that time." In fact, they enlisted in the US Army even before the Korean War started.

When the conflict began in the summer of 1950, Dennis's unit, the 1st Cavalry Division, was rushed from Japan to Korea. Dennis was slightly injured in action on Sept. 15, 1950, hit in the back by shrapnel. He received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge, among other medals. Years later he wrote down his Korean War memoirs. In 1954, he served as chaplain of the Rockton American Legion and on the Memorial Day color guard.

Later in his life, Dennis embraced his love of God, Christian values and a strong belief in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His greatest joy was sharing his faith with family, friends and even complete strangers. He continued as a member of the American Legion and the VFW in Stillman Valley, IL.  He also enjoyed golfing, but he loved everything to do with music: running the karaoke, playing the guitar, and singing and writing gospel songs.

Dennis is survived by his children Bill Bennett (Teresa); Pat Yielding (Rick); Sheryl Hawley; Greg Bennett (Terri); and Sheila Reed (Richard); his brother Doug Bennett.

Dennis was preceded in death by his wife Sharon Bennett; his parents Virginia Bennett and Robert Bennett; his brothers Willis Bennett; Jack Bennett; Sam Bennett, and Brian Bennett; and his son-in-law Steve Hawley.

Dennis also leaves behind many wonderful grandchildren, great-grandchildren, a great-great-grandchild and many numerous nieces and nephews close to his heart.

The family would like to express many thanks to Greater Valley Hospice, VA Texas Valley Home Health Care System of Harlingen and the loving friends at the Green Bay South Community.

A graveside service for Dennis will be held Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 1 p.m. at Rockton Township Cemetery, 536 West Street at Cemetery Road, Rockton, IL where he will be laid to rest along with wife Sharon.  A luncheon will follow the graveside service at 3 p.m. at Davis Junction United Methodist Church, 201 E Chicago Ave, Davis Junction, IL. Assisting the family is Heavenly Grace Funeral Home & Memorial Park in La Feria, TX. 

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