The Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu has returned to the campus of East Carolina University. The Snakes are back!
Alvin Gene Bennett, February 9, 1938 - August 27, 2020
"Lightning" Bennett, HB 115
Alvin Gene Bennett
Alvin Gene Bennett passed away at home, surrounded by his family on August 27, 2020. He was born on February 9, 1938, and was the son of the late Charlie Buford Bennett and Vestie Bennett. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jeri Francine “Fran” Bennett, his two daughters: Christy Bennett (Chip Bennett) of Raleigh NC and Britte Bennett (Nate Aleksiewicz) of Salt Lake City, Utah, his two grandsons; William Thomas and Bennett Thomas and his siblings; Dorthaleen Hundley, Juanita Hall, and Betty Nichols. He was predeceased by a sister, Ruth Johnson.
Alvin was quite a character and an interesting man. He enjoyed Smith Mountain Lake and lived there in his later years after being a resident of Bassett for most of his life. He was a founding member of the Blackwater Yacht Racing Club at the lake and raced sailboats there for more than twenty-five years. He moved on to golf at age 67 and finally broke 90 after 9 years of learning the sport.
Alvin graduated from Bassett High School in 1958 where he was an outstanding football and basketball player. He also attended Hargrave Military Academy on an athletic scholarship and East Carolina University from which he graduated in 1965. He was a proud member of the Eta Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity where he became HB 115 and made lifelong friendships. After graduating from college, Alvin taught school in Henry County for four years. He was the first teacher to integrate the staff of Mary Hunter School, an experience that changed his life and embedded a sense of responsibility for the fight for equity for all children.
After teaching, he joined his father in his construction business. Within two years, he was co-owner of Bennett-Nichols Construction. In this capacity, he served as the President of the Association of General Contractors in Southside Virginia and on the Henry County Review Board for Building Inspection for 22 years. After 23 years with Bennett-Nichols Company, he started Bennett Construction. He retired when he was 64 years old.
During his early years, Alvin was a member of the Kiwanis Club and the Bassett Jaycees. He has served on the Board of Blackwater Racing Association for many terms up to the present time.
The family expresses a deep appreciation for his caregivers: Chasity Gravely and Sharon Yeager of Hospice who provided him with care, comfort and joy until the end.
Due to COVID, the family will have a private memorial service.
In Alvin’s memory, please consider a donation to the Franklin County Humane Society, 18401 Virgil Goode Highway, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 or the Carilion Clinic Hospice of Franklin County, 390S.Main Street, Suite 314, Rocky Mount, VA 24145.