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J. Michael Bennett, 76

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J. Michael Bennett, U of MN Professor Emeritus peacefully passed on October 15, 2013.

Survived by Nancy, his loving wife of 30 years; son Peter M. Bennett; daughter's Jacquelyn M. Bennett, Amy (Matthew) Jorgensen, Audrey (Greg) Pope, Celia (Russell) Dettmar, Lisa Bagley; granddaughter's Laura Bitzan, Kylee and Mackenzie Dettmar, Micayla Pope; grandson's Justin Bagley, Steven Bitzan and William Dettmar; great grandson Mason M. Bitzan; cousins David Lockwood, Kay Redcoff and Dariel Johnson.

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He was preceded in death by his mother Sylvia Walstad-Bennett, father Cecil Bennett, sister Celia Bennett-Pope and grandson Jarrod Bagley.

Michael was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 19, 1937. He grew up in Pinewood Park Florida. He joined the Marine Corps (Semper Fi) and served for 3 years in Oppama Japan and 2 years at Cherry Point North Carolina. Returning home to Florida he was a salesman and then a house painter. At age 26 he enrolled at the University of Florida (Go Gators) and completed his B.A. and M.A. in English. He worked for Xerox in California for 2 years and went back to school at the University of Georgia (Go Bulldogs) and finished his Ed.D.in Reading. He was proud to go from "painting to professoring".

For 20 years he was "Dr. B." at the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers) in the Rhetoric Department, teaching College Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening and Group Dynamics. He was a beloved teacher, consultant, seminar leader and writer. He had great humor, energy and enthusiasum in his teaching style that was recognized by many. His work continues to be available through Learning Strategies Corporation.

He will be greatly missed for his love of life, his compassion for teaching, his laughter, his southern-style of story-telling and love of family and friends.

Michael was always a "teacher" at heart and bequest his body to the University of Minnesota Anatomy Program.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate his life will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 24, at Crossroads Church in Woodbury, Minn.

I will never be able repay the support and generosity of my boss Scott Peterson, Director of Government Affairs; my co-workers at MnDOT and the State of Minnesota. I offer you my humble thanks.

A special thank you to all the caregivers at Southview Acres, Health Partners Hospice, Craig and Barb Bellrichard, Debbie Johnson, Becky and Jim Johnson and especially to his two children at home that gave and gave and gave Peter and Jacquelyn Bennett. (Memorials accepted for their education.)

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