Jack Bennett, 91, of DeKalb, Ill. and formerly of Augusta, died July 30 at home.
Jack (aka Cecil Jackson Bennett) was born Oct. 4, 1927 in Eau Claire to Leah Myrtle Lanam Bennett and Cecil Hiltz Bennett of Augusta. Jack attended Augusta Public Schools and graduated from Augusta High School in 1945. He earned his B.S. Ed. of Natural Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1945, an M.A. of Zoology at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. in 1953 and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Zoology in 1959. After retirement he graduated from the Rock Valley college, Rockford, Ill., Aircraft Mechanics school and earned his Airframe and Engine Mechanics (A&P) rating.
He worked as a motion picture projectionist, inlay linoleum mechanic, store clerk and farm hand while in high school and college; as a teaching and research assistant and aircraft repairman while in graduate school; and as the animal room supervisor, instrument builder, repairman and zoology instructor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
Jack taught Zoology, General Biology, Genetics, Instrumental Methods and Evolution and was a researcher in evolution and the genetic basis of animal behavior at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Ill. from 1957-1990. He served in the United States Army in 1946.
Jack was a member and officer in numerous professional organizations, and author of many professional publications in genetics and evolution.
In addition to his family and profession he enjoyed reading, recreational flying accumulating more than 8000 hours in aircraft and sailplanes and constructed a Vari-eze N346J aircraft.
Jack is survived by his wife, Donna Irene Campbell Fenwick Bennett; his children, Scott Bennett of DeKalb, Carroll (Roger) Carlson of Fort Myers, Fla., John (Carmen) Fenwick of Weaverville, N.C., Elizabeth Fenwick of Wilmington, N.C. and Kathy (Kenneth) King of Sycamore; grandchildren, Tobey (Andy) Guntner, Oriana (Kelly) Holt, Jessica King, Daniel King and Karissa, Janelle and David Fenwick; and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Katherine W. Bennett; and son, Paul Fenwick.
A visitation will be held Saturday, August 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the funeral home with interment of the cremated remains following the service in the East Lawn Cemetery in Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Cecil Jack Bennett Memorial Fund, addressed to the Bennett Family in care of the Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 131, Augusta, WI 54722.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com.