After a long illness, Deacon Willie N. Bennett transitioned this life on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at Tuomey Health Care System, Sumter. Born on January 28, 1953 in Sumter, he was the son of the late Willie and Sally Bennett. After his mother passed, he was adopted by the late Rev. Alfred and Alice Glover.
“Jimmy” and “Blah”, as he was affectionately called, attended the public schools of Sumter County and was a graduate of Lincoln High School, Class of 1971. He was very active in the Civil Right Movement in the 1960’s.
Willie worked as the sound manager for the Brown Ashe Band for several years. He was the assistant director and counselor for the Ruth and Eckerd Wilderness Camp in Newport, North Carolina. He was a juvenile counselor for Job Corp in Edison, New Jersey. When he relocated to Norfolk, Virginia, he continued working with the juvenile department and later began working for the Norfolk International Airport Security Department.
Willie joined Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ in Chesapeake, Virginia with his family. He later joined Word of Truth Ministries, where he became the lead media tech for the church. Willie became an ordained Deacon in 1994 at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, Elizabeth City, N. C. In 1995, he joined Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA with his family and continued his passion of working in the sound and media ministry. After returning to South Carolina, he attended Dalzell United Methodist Church, where he participated in the Men’s Fellowship, Sunday School and Worship Services. He later joined Faith Baptist Church, Sumter, where he was a faithful member. He was also very active with the Class of 1971 and North Side Neighborhood Association.
Willie leaves to cherish his memories: his daughters, Jene’ Chapman (Jonathan) of Norfolk, VA, Nichelle Storr (Joey) of Jacksonville, FLA; two grandsons, Romeo and David; one sister, Shirley Grant of Dalzell; three brothers, Harry Bennett (H. Yetta) of Plainfield, N. J., Elijah Grant (Lillie) of Sumter, Richard Glover (Carolyn) of Maryland; a close cousin who grew up in the Glover home with him, Catherine Cane of Trenton, N. J.; two loving aunts, Pauline S. James (Fred) of Rembert, Maggie Anderson of Sumter; two uncles, Elijah and William Skinner, both of Sumter; one goddaughter, Mya Swindell of Virginia Beach, VA; a dear and close cousin, Rev. Frank Williams, Jr.; best friends, Charles and Gwen “Birdie” Clyburn, Wilbert Robbins and Hammie of Queens, N. Y., a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and adopted parents.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 p. m., Thursday, June 6, 2013 from the Faith Baptist Church, John Wesley Williams, Sr. Memorial Chapel, Williams Funeral Home, Inc., 821 North Main Street, Sumter with Rev. Frank Williams, Jr., pastor, presiding, Minister Jonathan Chapman, eulogist.
The family will receive friends and relatives at the home of his sister, Shirley Grant, 3335 Annie Street, Dalzell.
The funeral procession will leave at 12:20 p. m. from the home of his sister.
Floral bearers and pall bearers will be classmates from the Class of 1971.
Burial will be in the Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery, Highway 521 North, Rembert.