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Reverend Dr. E. Gene Bennett

Funeral services for Rev. Dr. E. Gene Bennett are on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

Visitation is Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. until time of services in the parish hall.

Dr. Bennett died Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, after a long illness. Father Bennett was born on Feb. 19, 1941, in Chattanooga,Tennessee, to Ernest and Ruth Bennett. After graduating from high school, Dr. Bennett attended college at the University of Tennessee where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. Afterwards, he received his Master of Divinity from the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee and aninterdisciplinary doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University. He did aclinical internship at the California State Hospital and later in Columbia, South Carolina.

Dr. Bennett moved to Jackson in 1971, where he became an associate priest at St. James Episcopal Church for several years and later became the priest at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Brandon where he remainedfor 15 years.

Deciding to leave Mississippi in 1988, he and his wife Carole made a move to Arizona and then California. In 2001, they returned to Mississippi and to the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer where he was a priest until his retirement in 2010.

Dr. Bennett was an avid sailor and his travels led him to many places. He was also an avid reader, a scholar of theology, and his sermons always gave you a gift of love to take home.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Bennett, who lost his life in World War II; and his mother, Ruth Bennett.

He is survived by his wife, Carole Petro Bennett; his daughters, Christy Ponder (Tommy) and Heather Surface (Frank); grandchildren, Ali Ponder, Talmadge Ponder, Jamie Surface, Peyton Surface and Hadley Surface; his sister, Patsy Mouftah; and nieces, Sonya and Tonya.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, P.O. Box 804, Brookhaven, MS 39602.

To express your thoughts to the family, you may visitriverwoodfamily.com and click on his name to leave a comment.