Saturday, May 22, 2004

Spokane

Former S-R reporter Jeanne Bennett dies

Kamilah Boone
Staff writer

For 14 years Jeanne Bennett wrote the life stories of Spokane's residents.

Bennett, a former editorial obituary writer for the Spokesman-Review, died May 6. She was 77.

“She loved it,” said Beverly Vorpahl, a former reporter and editor for the Spokane Daily Chronicle, of Bennett's tenure as obituary writer. “I think she felt like it was a very important job.

“She knew it would be something the families could keep and treasure.”

Bennett, a
lifelong resident of Spokane, graduated from West Valley High School in 1944. She attended the University of Iowa and graduated from the University of Washington in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

She joined the Spokane Daily Chronicle in 1948 as a reporter. Over the course of her 44-year career, in which she worked for both the Chronicle and later for The Spokesman-Review, Bennett worked as a club reporter and society writer, and she wrote the wedding and anniversary announcements.

“She was very thorough, careful and interested in the people she was writing about,” said Neil Felgenhauer, a copy editor for The Spokesman-Review.

“She truly was interested in the people we were covering in the paper,” Felgenhauer said. “Not just prominent people, but people who were having a significant event in their life.”

She began writing obituaries in 1978.

Within the newsroom, Bennett was renowned for the rum cake she brought in for the company Christmas parties.

She retired from The Spokesman-Review in 1992.

Bennett was active with the Spokane Press Club, where she served as president, and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and Theta Sigma Chi Journalism Honorary.

Survivors include her son, John Bennett of Spokane; and two grandsons.

At her request, there will be no service.


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