In Memory: Nov. 8

Jerome “Jerry” Bennett, 97, Vero Beach

Jerome “Jerry” Bennett, 97, longtime John’s Island resident, died peacefully on Nov. 2, 2019, at home with his family. Born in Greenwood, Miss., on Oct. 20, 1922, he grew up there in the loving care of his parents Jennie Arenzon and Harry Bennett.

Jerry attended Louisiana State University, where he was in Infantry ROTC and graduated in 1943 as Valedictorian of the class.

Following graduation he was assigned to the Ordnance Department at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. A commission as a 2nd Lieutenant followed and he was reassigned to Philadelphia as Fiscal Officer. It was there in the Ordnance District office that he met Julia Boyd.

Jerry and Julie were married on Sept. 6, 1947. She passed away in 2007.

While in the Army and upon discharge as a 1st Lieutenant, Jerry was an instructor in Accounting at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. In 1948, he decided that business rather than academics would be his path, a decision took him to countries throughout the world, to corporations near and far, and to interesting and influential people everywhere. Jerry loved every minute of it.

Jerry launched his business career with American Sugar Refining Company (Domino Sugar). In 1950, he started at Ford Motor Company as a Financial Analyst, working his way up the ranks and to become Sales and Marketing Manager and Assistant General Manager, Overseas Direct Market Operations when he left the company in 1964.

In 1966, after two years at International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) as Deputy Comptroller, Jerry returned to Ford as Deputy Manager of Latin American Operations. He left Ford in 1969. The company would always hold a special place in his heart and he had a deep interest in the automotive industry throughout his life.

From 1969 to 1975 Jerry was Vice President and Controller of Xerox Corporation. In 1976 he went to White Motor Corporation as President and Chief Operating Officer. From 1980 until his retirement in 1989 he was Vice President and Controller and then Senior Vice President of LoneStar Industries.

Jerry and Julie came to John’s Island in 1973 and upon Jerry’s retirement they made it their full-time home. Tennis, golf, and friendships marked their time there. Jerry was appointed to the Board of Directors, became Treasurer, and was Chairman of the Finance Committee. He was elected President of the Oceanside Village Homeowners Association, a position he held for many years.

In addition to the John’s Island Club, Jerry served on the boards of the Excelsior Fund, Data Systems, Genesee Valley Hospital, and the White Motor Company. He was a member of the John’s Island Club, the Metropolitan Club (NYC), and Greenwich Country Club.

Jerry carried optimism and a sense of possibility throughout his life. He inspired trust in all who knew him, from corporate boardrooms to great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his sons, Jerome Bennett (Sandell), of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Jack Bennett (Mary), of Heathrow, Fla.; daughter-in-law, Maria Bennett, of Hockessin, Del.; and sister, Helen Meyer, of Indian River, S.C.; grandchildren, Alison, Josh, Rob, Mary, Julie, and Joseph; and four great-grandchildren.

Jerry was predeceased by his wife, Julia Boyd; his son, Harry C. Bennett; and his brother, Charles Bennett.

A private family service will be held in Ocean City, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Foundation, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960, or online in memory of Jerome Bennett.


Betty Ann Larson, 92, Vero Beach

Betty Ann Larson, 92, of Vero Beach, died on Nov. 6, 2019. She was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and moved to Vero Beach in 1961.

She worked as a music and art teacher in various Indian River County schools and then as a Realtor for Laura B. Hancock of Vero Beach, Inc.

She was a long time member of Grace Lutheran Church of Vero Beach.

Survivors include daughter, Sharen (husband, Jonathan); son, John; and four grandchildren, Whitney, Shelby, Nathan and Chloe.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Ed, in 2008.

Visitation will be held at Cox-Gifford Seawinds, Vero Beach, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 6-8 p.m. Services will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, Vero Beach, on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m.

The family thanks all the staff at Grace Rehab for their loving care and also the staff of VNA Hospice who participated in Betty’s care.

Memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, 1150 41st Avenue, Vero Beach, FL 32960.

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