She was born and raised in Cleveland, and grew up in the Baptist Church. She was born Nov. 15, 1912, the oldest child of Gertrude Wrinkle Sinor and Thomas Oscar Sinor.
She was employed after high school by Southern Bell Telephone Co. and Tennessee Employment Services. She then chose to stay home and take care of her children. She became actively involved in different community projects and volunteer services. Some of these were Cleveland Women’s Club work (GFWC Federated and TFWF). She was named Cleveland 1974 Woman of the Year and was later a finalist in the international ESA judging in Phoenix. She was elected president of the Federated GFWC-TFWC Cleveland Women’s Club for two years, district president for two years and second vice-president of children’s programs for two years. One such job was helping the Melissa Gibson Fund Raising Program for abused children. She conducted children’s poetry contest while a state officer, with winners in the state receiving awards. There were other programs too numerous to mention but two unusual projects are too important to dismiss. After the initiation of a parent-student drug forum for older children, one young college youth from an out-of-town college told of his recovery from drugs. There was official recognition from Gov. Dunn. The most unusual project was Mrs. Bennett in cooperation with Junior Women’s Club of Chattanooga which helped Dr. Donald Vargas, an orthopedic surgeon of Leon Nicaragua organize a federated club (Club Nicaraguans De Majers Progresistrs) in Leon Nicaragua. As far as was known, this had never been done before, which was to organize a club in one country other than where it exists. The purpose was to raise money to pay hospital expenses, while Dr. Vargas operated on one child per month, free of charge, to correct deformities from the polio epidemic of 1968.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Earl M. Bennett; son, Dr. Bobby D. Bennett; four brothers: Forrest Sinor, Andrew Sinor, Gene Sinor and Charles Sinor; son-in-law, Henry (Hank) Kellermann and great-granddaughter, Jaimee Kellermann.
She is survived by four daughters: Mildred Cannon, Judy Rodgers, Linda Kellermann and JoAnn Lyles (Jerry); 14 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at Grissom Funeral Home with Pastor David Riggs officiating. A private interment will follow at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with Phil Cannon, Randy Rodgers, Sammy Sullivan, Michael Kellermann, Michael Lyles and Tom Nichols serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Mayor Tom Roland, Jerry Lyles, Commissioner Charlie McKenzie and Joe Lemons.
The family will receive friends Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the funeral home prior to the service.
The family requests memorials be made to the United Way of Cleveland or to the Salvation Army to help Cleveland tornado victims.
To send an online condolence to the family, please visit www.grissomfh.net.