Robert W. (Bobby) Bennett, 85, of rural Moscow, passed away peacefully, Wednesday June 16th at home with his family by his side. Bobby was born Nov. 24th 1935, in Fromberg, Montana to H.E (Bus) & Evelyn Gorman Bennett. Bobby was the youngest of the three Bennett boys, older brothers Don & Jim. The family moved to Genesee when Bobby was 3 years old. He attended Genesee school, graduating in 1954. While in high school, Bobby loved playing football, basketball, and baseball, all of which he excelled at. After graduating, Bobby received a scholarship to play basketball at Gonzaga University, but instead chose to stay home to help his parents. It was a tough decision at the time, but in years to come he believed it was for the best.
In 1956 Bobby married his high school sweetheart, Norene Spence, and together they had three children, Peggy, Diane and David. He drove fuel truck for Dick Scharnhorst, until 1957 when he began working for a Mobile service station in Moscow. Bobby purchased the station from Fred Handel in 1958. He and his brother-in-law, Norm Spence, worked at the station until after the winter of 1968/1969. Realizing that neither of them wanted to go through another winter like that one, Norm took a job with J&J Glass, and shortly after that Bobby sold the station and purchased a beer distributorship. Over the next 23 years Bobby, along with his family, worked hard expanding his product lines, in addition to purchasing distributorships in Whitman & Nez Perce Counties. In 1992 Bob sold the distributorship and retired, giving him and Norene the opportunity to travel, later becoming "snowbirds" and spending winters in Indio, California.
Bobby was an avid sports fan. In his younger years he refereed high school football & basketball for 13 years. Eleven of those years he was nominated to the State tournaments, and was inducted to the State of Idaho Dist. II Officials Hall of fame. Bobby also loved playing baseball for the Moscow City leagues, as well as basketball with the Jaycee's. He was an active member of the Moscow Jaycee's for many years, and while serving as president, helped the Moscow Chapter become the #1 Chapter in the State. Bobby was an active Vandal Booster, attending as many games as possible home and away. He was named Vandal Booster of the Year in 1974, and was Honorary Coach of the Silver & Gold game in 1987. Bobby was also a member of the Elks & Moose Lodge.
Bobby enjoyed camping, fishing, boating, and spending time with family. Over the years Bobby made many great friends. He loved socializing with anyone and everyone, and never met a stranger. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Cheers until we meet again!
He is survived by his wife of 65 years Norene; daughters Peggy (Jim) Devereaux, of Genesee, Diane (Lyle) Branting, of Moscow, and son David, of Moscow. He is also survived by his granddaughter Corey (Dave) O'Brien, of Moscow, his grandson Jerry (Joni) Bennett, of Pullman, and 4 great-granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his parents, both of his brothers, and 2 grandsons.
A private family burial service will be held Wednesday June 23rd at Genesee City Cemetey.
A celebration of life will be held Friday, July 9th, at 1 p.m. at the Latah County Fairgrounds Event Center. Memorials in Bobby's name may be made to the Vandal Boosters, or Kindred Hospice Center in Pullman, WA.
To send flowers to Robert's family, please visit our floral store.