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Thelma Bennett

Thelma Elaine Bennett

Tuesday, October 9th, 1923 - Thursday, February 13th, 2020
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Thelma Elaine Bennett, 96, of Herrin and formerly of Corinth, passed away at 8:10 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020 at her residence with her loving family and caregivers by her side.

Thelma was born October 9, 1923 in Mattawan, Michigan to Nicholas and Ilda (Hunter) Dekema. Her mother died when Thelma was just a young girl. Her step-mother, Edith later became a wonderful mother to Thelma. She married James C. Bennett on January 4, 1947 in Hobart, Indiana. Together they shared nearly 70 years of marriage together, before he preceded her in death on December 4, 2016.

Thelma had a full life and wore many “hats” during her life. In addition to raising her six children, she worked the family farm. She also worked as an election official, and drove school buses in Williamson County.

Thelma is survived by her children, Terry (Sandy) Bennett of Paulton, Cathy (Bob) Savant of Saddlebrook, MO., Melody (Paul) York of Herrin, Toby (Gay) Bennett of Johnston City, Tammy (Harry) Mostafa of Las Vegas, NV., and Penny Richison of Johnston City; six grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; one sister, Clara June Wiley and a sister-in-law, Shirley Fleming. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. The family wanted to thank Thelma’s caregivers, Shelly Owens, Valerie Kennedy, Rita Sloan, Michele Vaughn and Linda Haden.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; step-mother; grandson, Jarred Bennett; sister, Aleda Keller and two brothers, Orlin and Wilbur Dekema.

Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, February 17, 2020 at Pyle Funeral Home in Johnston City with Rick Ditch officiating. Interment will follow in the Herrin City Cemetery. Visitation will be 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.

Pyle Funeral Home in Johnston City is entrusted with the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois. Memorial envelopes are available at the funeral home.

For additional information or to sign the book of memories, please visit
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, February 16th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Sunday, February 16th, 2020 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Pyle Funeral Home
    1008 West Broadway Blvd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, February 17th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Monday, February 17th, 2020 11:00am
    Pyle Funeral Home
    1008 West Broadway Blvd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rick Ditch
  • Interment

    Herrin City Cemetery
    324 E Stotlar St
    HERRIN, IL 62948
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

brenda garrison

Posted at 10:34am
Sending love and prayers to the entire Bennett Family and to include Rita Sloan.
There is something no one knows... Thelma made me feel like I mattered many years ago when no one else did.
I will never forget how she made me feel after mom died and so many turned their backs on us. She let me know that my life mattered.
With much love and respect-
Brenda Thompson Garrison


Gay Bennett

Posted at 05:14pm
I’m at a loss for words about my Mother-In-Law. She was the hardest working lady I think I’ve ever known. She taught me so many things such as driving the School Bus! Without her help I would have never made it! First off she just didn’t care for me...I was taking her baby boy and I was older than him with a two year old! He turned 19 in April after us getting married in March just before his birthday! We moved out to Grandma Bennett’s house very near to his parents. I think she finally realized I did really love him and took care of him, we’ve been married for almost 43 years come March! Ibb b told her several weeks before she got so bad that I would take care of her Baby Boy and she said ok, I know you will you have for a long time and Thanked me. We got pretty close these last 3 1/2 yrs and I’m going to miss our talks when she laughed so much together. I know I’m not one of your blood daughters but I love you just like I was. Thank You for raising a son who takes care of me and his daughters and great grandsons...Lane & Luke Davis and RILEY & KEATON Mulvihill. Fly high my most precious Mother-in-law! I will miss you and I’ll see you again someday! I’ll hold you in my Heart until we meet again in Heaven! It will be a much brighter place with your SMILE 💖💕💙

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