October 31, 2019
William T. (Bill) Bennett of Connell, Wash., passed on to the great cattle ranch in the sky on Monday October 21, 2019, at the age of 91. He was one of the greatest cattlemen of our time.
Bill was born November 28, 1927, at their family ranch outside of Winona, Wash., the first son of John W. and Marie (Gribbin) Bennett. Bill was very active on the ranch at a very early age along with his brothers; Jack, Doug and Don. Bill graduated from Winona High School in 1945. Bill went on to Washington State University for two years studying Animal Science before returning to the ranch.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Norma Jean Marsh, on February 14, 1949. They have four children; Tom, Pam, Gayle and Joe.
He was on the Franklin County Planning Commission in the 80's and 90's.
Bill was an avid cattleman. He was involved in the American Hereford Association, the Oregon Washington Northern Idaho Hereford Association, the United Braford Breeders, the American Angus Association, Washington Cattlemen's Association, Franklin County Cattlemen's Association. Bill was a Director on the American Hereford Association Board from 1985 to 1991. Bill judged cattle in Canada, South America and in the United States including Hawaii. He sold cattle in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, Mexico, Canada and across the United States.
BB Cattle Co showed at the National Western from 1975 to 1996. He had Champion Carload in 1986 and 1996 and numerous reserves. They also had Champion Hereford bull in 1988. In 1988, he was honored by the Beef Improvement Federation as Seedstock Producer of the Year. In 2017, Bill was inducted into the Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame with the Pioneer Award.
Bill is survived by his wife Norma; his children Tom (Peggy) Bennett, Pam (Don) Pierson, Gayle (Ken) Smith, Joe (Merrilie) Bennett; his brothers Doug (Gladys) Bennett, Don (Phyllis) Bennett and sister-in-law Donna Bennett; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren, and many other grandchildren because he was known as grandpa to so many. He was preceded in death by his parents J.W. and Marie Bennett and brother Jack Bennett.
Bill will be laid to rest in a graveside service for the family, with a Celebration of Life on November 2, 2019, beginning at noon at the Connell Community Center for everyone that wants to come remember this great man and his legacy.