Family: Married to Dick Bennett. Sons are Tom Bennett, Farragut, who owns environmental engineering company, and Dave Bennett, CEO of Cherokee Millwright; daughter Cindi Maddox, teaches a gifted program in the Fulton, Missouri area.
Occupation: retired teacher and realtor.
Hot rods, good reads and exercising her mind and body are passions for Jane Bennett.
Bennett and her husband, Dick, lived in Smithville for 8 years where he owned a plant that made restaurant equipment. The couple loved hot rods, and that passion brought them through Blount County regularly.
“I did part-time teaching at MTSU and even got into Dekalb County High School. We had been going to Pigeon Forge and were going through Maryville and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to retire here?’ When Dave moved here, and we visited and walked on the Greenbelt, I said that any community that can at least pay lip-service to walking and exercise and preserving the beauty of nature has to be a pretty cool place,” she said. “That is my quintessential essence - exercise and using my mind and reading. That is what life is. Loving is all action; it is not stuff. I’m not a stuff person.”
Dave Bennett took a job with the Blount County government where he was finance director and eventually assistant county mayor. Jane and Dick moved to Blount County in 1995. She and Dick became members at Fairview United Methodist Church where she volunteered in communications, helped with two building campaigns and was a mentor for a Mothers of Preschoolers program.
One of her loves, that fits perfectly with her “essence,” is the Blount County Friends of the Library. She has been active with the Friends for four years.
Here is Jane Bennett:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Make my day,” said by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.
What are you guilty of?
“ I talk way too much. I love words and love to say them.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My engagement/wedding diamond from my husband, Dick, which he gave me 45 years ago.”
What are you reading currently?
“ ‘Mandela,’ by A. Sampson; ‘Long Walk to Freedom,’ by Nelson Mandela, ‘Jesus Calling,’ a daily Bible reading, and I’m listening to ‘Courting Trouble’ in the car by Lisa Scottolini.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“When qualifying for scuba certification, my husband Dick and I were down in the bottom of a local quarry, and I started coughing. I went up to the top, got over it and swam back down. At that moment our instructor motioned for me to Buddy Breathe with Dick. I totally forgot what to do! He likes to tell everybody that I almost drowned him. Of course the instructor and 4 other students were there. But, when we came up, the other people told Dick, ‘better get a different buddy.’ I still feel awfully stupid about that.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Go on a Safari because I love the big wild cats; learn a foreign language well enough to converse in that country, play music, either piano or a bass horn of some kind, or drums.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Talkative. I love to talk to people, any people, and everybody knows that.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would have a gorgeous contralto voice, have really curly hair and be very properly curvy.”
What is your passion?
“Communication of all types.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Other than Jesus, I would love to sit with Abraham Lincoln about half way through his presidency and discuss his newfound dream for freeing the slaves, and his plans for after the war, because he did have them and never got the chance to implement them.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“Cannot do that one. I love the present modern world with great doctors and dentists etc. If anything, I would love to be in the future when people are flying their own planes to the grocery, traveling to the planets and living on them, if that would happen.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“Besides the diamond from Dick, I received 71 gorgeous roses for my 70th birthday in July from my children, and arranged by my precious daughter-in-law, Fran Bennett. They were in vases, not exactly boxes, but the beauty of them and the thought was priceless.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“You can do whatever you want to in this life.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“Jesus Christ, He came to earth and was one of us but the better part! Just thinking about the forgiveness line at the end of his life really resonates with me. If we do forgive, we are the better for it.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“I am on Facebook just minimally but plan more in the future, and I Twitter for the Blount County Friends of the Library.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“Retail. I worked in a baby shop when I was 15. Stand there and wait until a customer came in, if ever. Boring.”
What irritates you?
“Liars, pedophiles, too much sun (literally), and people who won’t try to be healthy.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“The Blount County Public Library.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Learn more languages, keep up your piano playing, do yoga everyday.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of...
“Athletics. Everything I try I either get hurt or embarrass everyone, but I keep trying different things because we all know there is a sport for everyone.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“Jump on a plane with all my grandchildren and visit New York.”