Lela Catharine (Thompson) Bennett went into the loving arms of Jesus Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, at MercyOne Newton Medical Center, at the age of 91 years, one week. A visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. A private family service will be held. Masks are required to attend the visitation and social distancing will be enforced. Memorials to the West View Cemetery may be left at the funeral home.
Lela was born Dec. 2, 1929, in Grinnell to Edward and Alvira (Weeks) Thompson. She was united in marriage with Robert W. Bennett Feb. 10, 1947, in Ottumwa. They lived in Ottumwa after they were married, later farmed around Grinnell and Monroe, before buying a house in Reasnor. Lela studied hard and received her GED while raising six children. After retirement, they moved to Newton. Lela worked at Steven’s Grill on the northside of the square, at Earl May, the Children’s Recycling Shop and as a letter carrier for the USPS. She later retired from the Vernon Company in 1991. Lela was part of RSVP where she volunteered to listen to kids read and was a docent at the museum. She was a member of the Grinnell Church of Christ in Grinnell where she taught Bible lessons for more than 50 years and was a mentor to both children and adults.
Lela loved her family and friends and didn’t turn anyone away if they showed up around a mealtime. She spent much time cooking, baking, sewing and at the bedside of many who were ill. She wrote cards and notes and took food to those who were sick or to a family after someone passed away. Lela was a prayer warrior, spending a lot of time in prayer for others. She had a sweet spirit but also had an ornery side. Lela loved to have fun and had many, many wonderful stories to share.
Lela lived her faith and spoke truth with grace. She was thankful for the many blessings of life God had given. She was thankful to God for every day. Lela trusted her Father in Heaven and was a good and faithful servant to the very end of her time here with us. She will be missed greatly and leaves behind a legacy of love, mercy, grace, giving, sacrifice for others and faithfulness.
Those left to honor Lela’s memory are her four daughters, Jennet (Skip) Johnson of Sun City, Ariz., Karen Bennett of Newton, Betty (Jim) Samson of Newton and Donna (Pat) Blythe of Reasnor; son, Kenneth (Deanna) Bennett of Dothan, Ala.; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert W. Bennett; son, Orrin Bennett; grandchildren, Laura, Chris and Craig Wallace and Timothy, Tina,and Teresa Samson; her three sisters and their husbands; and many other family members and friends.