James Crosland Bennett

Jim passed away suddenly on April 14, 2020 at his home in the Mount Douglas Seniors Residence in Victoria, BC.  He was 81.

Jim was born on June 5, 1938 in Bennettsville, South Carolina, the second son of Hon. Neville Worth Bennett and Margaret Kirkley Crosland Bennett.  He graduated from Clio High School and attended Wofford College.

As a young man, Jim enjoyed fishing and hunting and led the installation of a walking trail in his community.

In 1958 he joined the US Navy and served 4 years, the majority of it on Whidbey Island in Washington state.

After his service, Jim studied science at the University of Washington.  In 1967 he moved to Alberta with his first wife Durell, initially living in Calgary where he completed archaeology studies and his education degree at the University of Calgary.  During this time, he worked at archaeological research sites in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

In the early 1970’s, Jim and Durell moved to Grande Cache, Alberta, where they both worked as schoolteachers.  In 1975, they moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta, where Jim taught at Keyano College and operated a long-haul trucking business.

Jim and Durell moved to Victoria, B.C., in 1979, residing in the Metchosin district where Jim operated a farm and market garden business.  In 1983, Jim moved to Vancouver and subsequently to Gambier Island near Gibsons, B.C., where he operated a farm.

After returning to Victoria, Jim worked in a variety of roles including health care support and building maintenance.  He loved cooking, and was a talented cook and chocolate-maker.  For several years in the early 2000’s, he owned and operated the Blue Carrot Café in Victoria, where he enjoyed serving his many regular customers.

In Victoria, he was active in several community organizations including the Church of Truth.  In 2014, after completing training courses, Jim began practicing Healing Touch therapy at the United Church and other locations in Victoria.  His colleague Joan Mickelson remembers Jim as a very generous and reliable volunteer who enjoyed helping his clients.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Huddie Ann Bennett of Vancouver, brothers Dr. William Neville Bennett of Lexington, SC, Gene Worth Bennett of Summerton, SC, and Richard Henry Bennett of Clio, SC, and a sister Jane Fair Bennett Riley of Elkin, NC. He is also survived by his granddaughter Grace Van Gastel of Victoria, grandson Caleb Van Gastel, and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim is also survived by his step-daughter, Gillian Huot of Victoria, BC, her husband Ross Long, and their son Reid Long, to whom Jim was fondly known as “Grandpa Jim”.

He was predeceased by his parents, a daughter, Laura Dana Bennett, and three wives, Phyllis, Liz, and Patricia Huot.

Jim will be fondly remembered by his many friends and relatives for his zest for life, vitality, easy-going nature, keen sense of humour, generosity to others, and interest in people from all walks of life.  Jim had a high level of intellectual curiosity, and enjoyed learning new skills throughout his lifetime.  In the past several years, he had been taking piano lessons to refresh his playing skills.

Jim was a loyal friend who was generous in giving his time to help others.  In 2018, he accompanied his best friend Frank on a long-distance driving trip from Victoria to the Northwest Territories to fulfill Frank’s final wish to see the Arctic Ocean.

In his final year living at the Mount Douglas Residence, Jim was appreciated by his fellow residents for organizing regular social gatherings in the common room.

A memorial tea event to remember Jim is planned to be held at the Mount Douglas Residence at a later date to be announced.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Heartfelt condolences to the many, myself included, who feel bereaved by the passing of this fine man. Rev. Greg Skala

  2. Our hearts are gathered in sorrow at the passing of this great man, who selflessly brightened our days at the Mount Douglas Seniors Society Manor Residence in Victoria, B.C., Canada. Rest in Peace dear Jim.

  3. Jim, I miss you. I am sad that you are no longer available for comeradery. I found you easy to talk with, a gentle soul with your own views. I liked your directness and openness, willing to share the truth that you know.

  4. Jim is sorely missed here at Mount Doug. From his first week with us, he began working to bring people together with his daily afternoon tea and his community suppers. He was one of those rare and wonderful people that quietly went about making his community what he wanted it to be. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones.

  5. My work day usually began with a big smile and a joke from Jim.
    I knew Jim touched those who were fortunate enough to meet and spend time with him but I just really never realized the impact he had on my day.
    I think of him often when I look out at our lobby, he still makes me smile!

  6. During Liz and Jim’s residence at The Dawson we spent many times preparing meals for the “dinner crowd”. He will be missed.

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