Donald F. "Don" Bennett, age 88, of St. Charles, IL formerly of Seattle, Washington, peacefully passed away Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Michaelson’s Health Care Center in Batavia with his loving family by his side.
He was born July 22, 1931 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph and Mary (Francis) Benoit.
Don proudly served the United States of America as a member of the Air Force in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was an expert fighter pilot, a member of the 49th Interceptor Squadron, retired from the Airforce as a Lt. Colonel and continued to serve in the Air Force Reserves. He worked for Boeing for 25 years and then worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as a top flight instructor. Don traveled the world delivering Boeing aircrafts and trained and certified pilots across the globe. Don was one of the few pilots who had certifications to fly every Boeing aircraft, his favorite being the 757. He accrued over 35,000 hours in the cockpit throughout his career and truly loved every aspect of flying. His first plane was the Stearman and he flew every plane through the early 777 models. Don also developed a love for boating and sailing. As a young man he held summer positions in Cape Cod, Massachusetts working on local yachts to pay for his college degree. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Design, and had a natural aptitude and talent for art. As an adult he enjoyed countless sunsets on Lake Union in Seattle aboard his own vessel, “Liberty” with his family and friends. Don was incredibly proud of his children and was always seated front row when his grandchildren were performing.
Don will be formally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery amongst the heroes of our country.
Don is survived by his loving children John (Donna) Bennett of Seattle, Washington, Kristin Baker of Seattle, Washington, and Debra (David) Nowak; grandchildren Elizabeth Grace & Charlotte Rose of Geneva, IL; sister Mary Louise (Arthur) MacNeill of South Carolina; niece and nephews Carolyn (Horan) McCarthy, David Horan, and Stephen Horan; and many other dear relatives and friends.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and by the mother of his children, Celeste Elizabeth Harrison.
Visitation for Don will be held Sunday, January 19, 2020 from 1:00 pm until the time of his funeral service at 3:00 pm at Malone Funeral Home, 324 East State Street (Route 38), Geneva, Illinois 60134 with Father Charles Warren officiating.
Interment will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5036, 311 N 2nd St #109, St. Charles, IL 60174, would be appreciated.
For information 630-232-8233 or visit malonefh.com.
To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral section.