Joseph Francis (Joe) Bennett Jr.
Joseph Francis (Joe) Bennett Jr. passed away on December 1, 2020 from conditions related to a stroke suffered on July 1, 2019. He was 86 years old. At the time of his passing, Joe was residing at Mary's Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community in Lake Oswego Oregon.
Born February 1, 1934 in Brooklyn NY, the only child of Joseph (Sr) and Mary Bennett, Joe spent his youth playing stickball, cheering on his Yankees, and keeping an eye on the news of WWII.
After graduating from Manual Training High School (Brooklyn NY), Joe followed his passion for airplanes into the US Air Force where Joe served from 1952 to 1956 achieving the rank of SSgt (staff sergeant).
Following his honorable discharge, Joe attended Eastern
Washington University in Cheney, WA where he met his beloved wife, Colleen, to whom he would be married for over 53 years until her passing in January 2011. In 1961, Joe graduated from The University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida} earning a BA degree in Electrical Engineering (and becoming a lifelong Gators fan). He found job opportunities in California and worked at Lockheed Missiles and Space Co (Sunnyvale), Sylvania Electronics Systems(Mountain View), the US Navy Dept (San Diego), and Hewlett Packard Co (Palo Alto).
At the age of 38, Joe decided to switch careers and become a lawyer. The family (now with sons Tim, Tom, and Scott) moved from California to Oregon, where Joe attended Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College (Portland, Oregon) graduating with a degree in Law in 1975.
Joe practiced law in Spokane WA (1976 - 84) and would eventually land a job at the Bonneville Power Administration (Portland OR) in the Office of General Counsel, where he worked from 1984 until his retirement in January 2010.
Known for his quick wit, love of movies, cars, sports, and the weather, Joe was an excellent "water cooler" discussion partner and many believed that this was the real reason he came to work each day, to see his friends and discuss the latest episode of "Lost" or Portland Trailblazers' draft picks.
It could be argued that Joe'sTRUE passion in life was sitting in the sun. Co-workers and family members would often find Joe sitting in the sun, "working on his tan" in preparation for his yearly trips with Colleen to Hawaii.
Joe loved cars. One of his favorite pastimes was shopping for a new car "for Colleen". Joe also restored cars including two Ford Thunderbirds and a Lincoln Continental which he showed in a number of local car shows. The Portland Auto show was a yearly treat around Joe's birthday where he would spend hours, sitting in every car.
After Colleen's passing in 2011, Joe found the strength and courage to continue to remain active and live a meaningful life. He joined the Senior Studies Institute(SSI) at Portland Community College where he met lifelong friends and engaged in lively debates about current affairs.
Joe's beloved dog, Katie, passed away at the age of 15, only four days after Joe. It is a comfort to know that somewhere, Joe and Katie are sitting in the sun together, most likely napping, while Colleen continues to "get things done".
Joe is survived by his three sons, Tim (Portland OR), Tom (Ogden UT), Scott and daughter-in-law Sarah (Seattle, WA), Former daughter in law Nancy (UT) and grandchildren Andy (with granddaughter-in-law Jerika), Sami, Ellie, Heidi, Bekah, and Great Grandchild, Zane (born July 2020, son of Andy and Jerika Bennett) whom Joe was able to meet, via ZOOM, in August (2020).
Joe will be fondly remembered by friends, family, and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Updates on funeral and memorial services can be found on the website www.mykeeper.com/profile/JosephBennett/ where friends and family may share thoughts and memories.
Joe will be placed alongside Colleen at Willamette National Cemetery in early/mid-2021.