John Riley Bennett

WAYCROSS — Mr. John Riley Bennett, 92, died peacefully with his family Monday, May 22, 2023 at Hospice House Satilla in Waycross.

Bennett was born Friday,  January 2, 1931, in Dixie Union to the late Ezra Lawton Bennett and Mamie Young Bennett.

He graduated from Hoboken High School Class of 1949 and lived most of his life in Brantley County.

Bennett was a farmer and retired as a carman from CSX Railroad in 1993.

He was a member of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and Laura Walker Men's Golf Association. He was instrumental in starting the CSX Golf Tournament. He loved to go fishing and camping.

In addition to his parents, Bennett was preceded in death by his siblings, Virginia Bennett, Knobby Bennett, Omer Bennett, Loy Bennett, Pauline Grover, Bill Bennett, Odie Culpepper, Ted Bennett, Sr., Pearl Waters and other brothers and sisters.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Tatum Bennett of Waycross; a daughter, Sheila Smith (Robert Smith, Jr.) of Waycross; three grandchildren, Bert Smith (Becca) of Waycross and their children, Sy and Lee Smith, Renee Herron (Chad) of Toccoa, Ga., and their children, Walker and Ally Herron, John Smith (Kim) of Waycross and their children, Ben and Haley Jane Smith; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

A funeral service was held Friday, May 26, 2023 at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. Burial followed at Kettle Creek Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice House Satilla 808 Evergreen Way Waycross, Georgia 31501.

Sympathy may be expressed by posting to his tribute wall at

Music Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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