February 28, 1945 - December 25, 2019 Robert Frederick Bennett, Jr., 74, passed away Dec. 25, 2019, at Eastern Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Ala., after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Bennett was born Feb. 28, 1945, in South Bend, Ind., the son of Robert and Maxine Bennett. He was raised in Valparaiso, Ind., and graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1963. In 1968, he graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., with a bachelor's degree in business administration and earned a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He served in Vietnam from 1969-1970 as an air cavalry platoon leader. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army, he worked in business in Valparaiso; Kokomo, Ind.; and Newport, Ark.; before returning to Valparaiso in 1980. He married Katrina Jones in 1988. They moved in 2013 to Auburn, where he retired. Mr. Bennett was active in the choir at Auburn United Methodist Church, a passion he had continued from his church and choir membership in Valparaiso. He enjoyed travel, particularly road trips; working on cars with his friends; rooting for the Chicago Cubs; and helping people wherever he could. He is survived by his wife, Katrina Bennett; three sons and daughters-in-law, Robert and Tara Bennett, James and Regina Bennett, and Paul and Jennifer Bullard; 12 grandchildren; three sisters: Sue Bowlin, Linda Bostick, and Sara Clark; a brother-in-law, William Clark; and many friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and sister, Flo Ann Rice. Visitation will be held 4-6 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 29th, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. CST, Monday, December 30th, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home. Interment services will follow at 1:30 p.m. CST, Monday, at Fort Mitchell National Military Cemetery, Ala. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Disabled American Veterans at www.dav.org/donate or 1-877-647-VETS (8387), or the Auburn United Methodist Church music ministry program at https://www.aumc.net/giving/. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directing.
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