Joel David Bennett
Joel David Bennett passed away Sunday, August 29, 2021 at the age of 85, from COVID. Born in Fort Worth in April 15, 1936 to Doak and Rose (Scott) Bennett.
The family moved to Weatherford, Texas, when he was a young child. When he was six, he learned to write his name in cursive. That was when he learned that his first name and his Grandpa Bennett’s first names were the same, Joel (Asa). Neither went by it, but it was special to him. He became Joel when his first grade teacher introduced him to the class. At home, he was David.
Joel graduated from Weatherford High School and from Weatherford College. After two years in the Army, he attended and graduated from North Texas at Denton, Texas with a degree in English. In the fall, he became a sixth grade teacher for two years at Trout Elementary in Lufkin, Texas. In the spring of his second teaching year, he met the love of his life, Donna Lemke, and they were married on September 2, 1962 at First Lutheran Church in Lufkin.
In 1963, Joel was hired at the Lufkin State School, after receiving his masters degree in education at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas. He became Director of Education. After nine years, he was hired in 1972, as one of the first seven employees of the Brenham State School. The school opened in January 1974.
Joel’s dad had taught him fishing and loved fishing on Sam Rayburn Lake near Lufkin. In 1976, Joel and Donna opened Lakeway Bait & Tackle on Highway 36 North. In it’s fifth year, Joel retired from the state school to help Donna. They operated it until 2000 and enjoyed meeting so many people.
After retiring, Joel and Donna bought an RV and traveled throughout Central Texas. He played golf most of his life and enjoyed so many golf courses.
Joel was a poet and storyteller, entertaining with such memorable stories of his life.
Joel was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, parents-in-law Edmund and Wilodine Lemke and brother-in-law Jimmy Robertson.
Joel is survived by his wife of almost 59 years, Donna Bennett; children Jennie Bennett, Kim Cole; grandchildren Kayla Cole and Kevin Cole.
Visitation will be Friday, September 3, from 2-7 p.m. and a short memorial reading by Donna’s cousin at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Chapel.
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