Farming Rural 10

William "Bill" Bennett

January 10, 2024
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William "Bill" Bennett Obituary

William A. “Bill” Bennett of Sheffield, Illinois died Wednesday, January 10, 2024. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Pam (Van Cauwenberge) Bennett, his daughters Angela Bennett, Sarah Mueth (Nic), Becky Carter (Tony), Molly Bennett (Tim Mejudhon), and Bobbi Bennett. He had 9 grandchildren Josephine and Vivienne (Angie), Marcia and Clara (Sarah), Bennett and Pammy (Becky), Arlo and Ajax (Molly), and Juniper (Bobbi). Additionally, he is survived by several in-laws and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

Bill was born in Peoria, Illinois on July 9, 1951. He survived polio as a child and lived for a time in St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. He was raised on his family's farm outside of Sheffield. He graduated from Western High School, Black Hawk College, and Illinois State University receiving a Master’s Degree. During his time at ISU, he made several lifelong friends through his membership in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

Bill grew up as a farm kid and worked on a farm his entire life. After an extended courtship beginning in third grade, he married Pam Van Cauwenberge on November 23, 1974 at the Congregational Church in Princeton, Illinois. They settled on a farm outside of Neponset, Illinois where they raised hogs, grains and daughters. He was mechanically inclined and could fix just about anything. Along with his father and brother he piloted small airplanes. He was an industrious individual who learned to operate heavy equipment at US Ecology during the summers when he was home from college. He later put these skills to work grading and plowing roads for the Neponset Township and with his own business Bennett and Doubler Excavating.

Bill was an active member of his community. He served on the Bureau County Board, the Bureau Service Board, the Henry Stark Special Education Board, as a volunteer firefighter for the Neponset Fire Department, and as president of the Neponset School Board. He was 1984 Outstanding Young Farmer for the Young Farmers of America. 

Bill was an avid reader and lifelong learner. He loved to laugh; he always loved to hear a new joke but had a limited repertoire of which he liked to retell. According to local legend, he created the word MOFO. He was the founding father of the GFA, and in 2002 he placed 2nd in the Bradford Ugly Truck Contest.

Bill cared a lot about the people around him and he would go out of his way to help any person that he loved. He will be sorely missed in the lives of his family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Kathleen (Sullivan) Bennett, his brother Robert “Bob” Bennett, his granddaughter Payton Carter and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Eugene and Marcia (Moore) Van Cauwenberge.

The visitation will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Sunday, January 14 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 15 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sheffield. Celebrant will be Fr. Ghislain Inai, SMA. He will be interred at Sheffield Cemetery in Sheffield, Illinois. Memorials may be directed to the Bureau County 4-H or Sheffield Rescue Unit or anywhere of the donor’s choosing.


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January 14, 2024

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Rux Funeral Homes
507 S. Chestnut St.
Kewanee, IL 61443

Mass of Christian Burial
January 15, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
233 W. Atkinson St.
Sheffield, IL 61361


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