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Andrew F. Bennett, Jr.

Company L-2

25 Nov 1937 - 27 Nov 2014

Place of Death: Cleveland, TN

Interment: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Cleveland, TN

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Andy Bennett, on November 27, 2014, in Cleveland, TN, after a long, courageous battle with multiple sclerosis. 

Andy is survived by wife of 51 years, Nancy; children, Dana Caywood (Mikel), Andrew III (Marta), and Edward Todd (Kori); grandchildren, David Caywood, James Caywood, Todd Caywood, Andrew Bennett IV, Abigail Bennett, Grayson Bennett, Sidney Bennett, Parker Bennett, and Walker Bennett; and great grandchildren, Crissie Caywood, Daxton Caywood, and Noah Caywood. 

Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 PM and 6:00-9:00 PM on Tuesday, December 2 and 1:00-2:00 on Wednesday, December 3 at First Baptist Church, 1275 Stuart Rd NE, Cleveland, TN  37312. 

The funeral service will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, December 3 at First Baptist Church.  Burial will follow the funeral service. 

Jim Rush Funeral Home in Cleveland, Tennessee, is handling arrangements. 

Condolences may be sent to Nancy at 351 King Den Drive NW, Cleveland, TN  37312. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Andy's memory be made to National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY  10163.

Well done, Andy.  Be thou at peace.




Judge Andrew Franklin Bennett, Jr.

Andrew Franklin Bennett, Jr., 77, of Cleveland, was born on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937, and passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 after a lengthy battle with progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

He was a native and longtime resident of Cleveland and attended First Baptist Church. He grew up on his parents’ dairy farm in Waterville, TN and graduated in 1956 from Bradley Central High School after being elected student body president. He joined the National Guard and earned the rank of Sergeant before being accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation from USMA in 1961, he was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer. He served nine years active duty in the United States Army with tours in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Korea; and Da Nang, Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor device, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge.

He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee in 1973, at which time he served in the Army Reserves. During his years in the reserves, he was a liaison to West Point for seven Tennessee counties and served at the Pentagon and assisted in the development of the Nike anti-ballistic missile system. He retired as a Colonel after over 20 years of uniformed service.

After law school, he served as an attorney in Knox and Bradley Counties before being elected as General Sessions Court Judge in 1981. He served in this capacity for 24 years, retiring in 2006. He was active in his community through teaching Sunday School, singing in the church choir, and participating in the Kiwanis Club, Teen Challenge, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, West Point Parents' Club, and Civitan Club.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Carol Bennett; his parents, Andrew Franklin, Sr. and Clara Renner Bennett; one sister, Lillian Colleen Bennett, and three brothers-in-law: Robert Davis, Joe Dement, and Wilburn Boring. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nancy Walker Bennett; his daughter Dana Bennett Caywood (Mikel), of Kingsport; his son Andrew Franklin Bennett, III (Marta) of Lenoir City; his son Edward Todd (Kori) Bennett, of Franklin. Surviving grandchildren are David Andrew Caywood (Nikki) of Kingsport, James Mikel Caywood (Mia) of Kingsport, and Todd Daniel Caywood (Samantha) of Watford City, North Dakota. Also surviving him are grandchildren Andrew Franklin Bennett, IV and Abigail Elizabeth Bennett of Lenoir City; Grayson Clara Bennett, Sydney Estelle Bennett, Walker David Bennett, and Parker Edward Bennett of Franklin, and three great-grandchildren: Crissie Grace Caywood, Noah Mikel Caywood, and Daxton Heath Caywood, all of Kingsport. He was the seventh of thirteen children, eleven of whom survive him: Geraldine Dement, Swanson Bennett (Nina), Maureen Dement (John), Billie Lou Wooten (Wylie), Bernice Boring, Raymond Bennett (Bettye), Laverne Easterly (Jack), Laura Bennett, Katherine Gibson (Steve), Brenda Medlin (Ron), and Olin Bennett (Nadine). He is survived by dozens of nieces and nephews.

The Remembrance of Life Service will be conducted Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 2:00 P. M. from the First Baptist Church with Dr. Alan Lockerman officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Memorial Gardens with Full Military Honors. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 4:00 and 6:00 until 9:00 Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at the First Baptist Church, 1275 Stuart Rd. here in Cleveland. Judge Bennett will also lie in state from 1:00 until 2:00 Wednesday just before the services at the Church. The North Ocoee Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes has charge of the arrangements.

Taps Memorial Article:

Andrew F. Bennett Jr. 1961

Cullum No. 23514-1961 | November 27, 2014 | Died in Cleveland, TN
Interred in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Cleveland, TN


Andrew Franklin Bennett Jr. was born on Thanksgiving Day in 1937 in the Waterville community of Cleveland, TN. Seventy-seven years later, he died on Thanksgiving Day 2014.
Franklin was the seventh of 13 children of the Bennett family. He grew up on his parent’s dairy farm, where he helped to raise calves among his many farm chores. His first thoughts about West Point occurred while perusing the World Book Encyclopedia with a friend. After graduating from high school as student body president, Franklin joined the National Guard and earned the rank of sergeant before being accepted to the United States Military Academy.

At West Point, “Andy” was the epitome of the perfect cadet. He had no difficulty with the military, physical, or academic phases of cadet life, graduating in the upper half of his West Point class. One day, during French class, he was told by his French instructor that he would never pass the French course because he pronounced French words with his terrible Tennessee accent. But Andy persevered and was able to get through the course. In sports, Andy used his athletic ability to become a member of the Army Lacrosse Team. His team won the national lacrosse championship in 1961. Andy’s leadership potential was recognized early on at West Point, and he was selected to be a cadet lieutenant his senior year. At graduation in June 1961, Andy was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch. During his first year of active duty, Andy completed the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, OK and graduated from both the U.S Army Ranger and Airborne schools as well. While a student in his basic course, he met his future wife, Nancy Walker. They were married after he returned from his first assignment in the field, a one-year tour with a Field Artillery unit in Korea.

Their marriage produced four children, two sons and two daughters. One daughter died in infancy. At the time of his death, they also had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He served on active duty for nine years, with subsequent tours at the White Sands Missile Range, NM; Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Sill; and Da Nang, Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device. Upon his return from Vietnam he resigned from the regular Army, joined the U.S Army Reserves, and attended law school at the University of Tennessee, receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1973. During his years in the reserves he was a liaison officer to West Point for seven Tennessee counties, and he served at the Pentagon, assisting in the development of the Nike anti-ballistic missile system. He retired from the Army Reserves as a colonel with over 24 years of military service. His promotion ceremony to colonel took place during one of his liaison visits to West Point.

After law school Andy began his legal career as an attorney in Knox and Bradley counties in Tennessee before being elected as General Sessions Court judge in 1981. He served as a judge for 24 years, retiring in 2006. He was once told by a lawyer friend that he would have no problems in his bids for reelection because no one was brave enough to face a campaign against Nancy and his nine sisters. His lengthy term on the bench was marked by his strict adherence to the law, tempered with compassion and understanding for those who stood before him. He was widely admired for his work on the bench. One significant challenge that Andy encountered was his diagnosis with progressive multiple sclerosis in the 1980s. Despite eventual use of a wheelchair and the extreme physical obstacles that MS caused, he persevered in his goal of serving his family, his church, and his community.

Throughout his career he remained very active in his community through teaching Sunday School, singing in his church choir, and participating in the Kiwanis Club, Teen Challenge, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, West Point Parent’s Club, and Civitan Club.

Andrew Franklin Bennett lived an exemplary life; a life based on the West Point values of Duty, Honor, Country; values to which he strongly adhered.

— Classmate and friend