SR1199LRB100 16453 MST 31582 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3learn of the death of Charlene F. Bennett of Gibson City, who
4passed away on November 8, 2017; and
5    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was born in Gibson City on July
616, 1922 to Oliver F. and Emma (Gilmore) Shirley, two of the
7first land-owning families of Ford County; she was educated at
8the one-room Pleasant Valley School near her family's farm in
9rural Gibson City; she graduated in 1940 as valedictorian from
10Drummer Township High School in Gibson City; she earned her
11teaching certificate from Illinois State Normal University;
13    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett taught for seven years at the
14one-room Wantwood Country School south of Gibson City for the
15starting salary of $90 per month until she left to raise her
16own family; she married Leonard L. Bennett on November 26, 1947
17in Danville and together they had five children; and
18    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was a lifelong teacher of
19children and returned to education, spending seven years as a
20teaching assistant at the Gibson City Grade School; she then
21worked for many years as an aide at the Busy Hands Nursery
22School in Gibson City; and



SR1199- 2 -LRB100 16453 MST 31582 r

1    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was a devoted mother,
2grandmother, and great-grandmother whose greatest joy was
3doting on, and spending time with, her family; and
4    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was a faithful and active member
5of the First Christian Church of Gibson City for over 70 years,
6serving as a long-time Sunday School teacher and the pianist
7for the Children's Choir, in addition to volunteering for the
8church in many other capacities; and
9    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was a dutiful gardener on her
10family's farm northwest of Gibson City and was proud of her
11flowers, sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions,
12green beans, and assorted other vegetables; she would often
13include her garden's bounty in her home-cooked meals of simple
14country recipes that were greatly enjoyed by her family; and
15    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett loved to play the piano and
16ensured that music would play a defining role in the lives of
17her children; she enjoyed listening to her growing family sing
18together at church or around a piano during family gatherings;
20    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett spent nearly all of her 95 years
21within a few square miles in Ford County, as she was born,



SR1199- 3 -LRB100 16453 MST 31582 r

1lived, and died in and around her beloved Gibson City;
2nonetheless, the pain of her loss extends far from the modest
3boundaries of Ford County; she touched the lives of countless
4people; and
5    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett was preceded in death by her
6parents and her only sibling, Robert E. Shirley; and
7    WHEREAS, Charlene Bennett is survived by her sons, Bob
8(Barb) Bennett, Tom (Kathy) Bennett, and Doug (Sheila) Bennett;
9her daughters, Wanda Driscoll and Carol (Jerry)
10Bennett-Barker; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren;
11therefore, be it
13ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
14Charlene F. Bennett, and extend our sincere condolences to her
15family, friends, and all who knew and loved her; and be it
17    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
18presented to the family of Charlene Bennett as an expression of
19our deepest sympathy.