Cover photo for Josie Bennett's Obituary
Josie Bennett Profile Photo

Josie Bennett

October 2, 1919 — April 25, 2008

Josie Bennett

Josie ?Edgel? Bennett, 88, peacefully passed away on Friday, April 25, 2008.  Simply put, her work here was done.             Edgel was born October 2, 1919, the third of seven children born to John Ellen Surrett, a pioneer rancher and miner who came to Arizona from North Carolina in 1895, and Josephine Catherine Hegglin, who immigrated to Arizona from Switzerland in 1912 to work at The White House Hotel in Mayer, Arizona.  The Surrett family homesteaded the former Hay Ranch near Mayer from 1914 to 1943.             Edgel attended school at the historic red brick schoolhouse in Mayer, Arizona and graduated in 1937 (the fifth graduating class of Mayer High).  She went on to take business courses at Arizona State College, returning to wed Eugene T. Bennett (the handsome ranch hand and cowboy singer who had captured her affections) in 1938.             Together, Edgel and Eugene operated the H Lazy A / Griffin Ranch on the Agua Fria River.  In 1948, they moved to Mayer, and Eugene went to work with the public utility now known as APS.  They raised three children and were married for 66 years.             Edgel was a pioneer woman of endless talent.  She could custom tailor a western dress shirt or slacks to their wearer without a pattern; she could skin and butcher a cow, have the hide tanned and processed, and create beautiful handcrafted leather goods; she was a skilled bookkeeper; and she could easily prepare a full breakfast or supper for a room full of family or ranch hands, all of whom would gladly return for seconds on her scratch biscuits.             She had a strong, independent will.  She worked hard for her family and her community.  She was devoted to the success of public education and served on the Mayer School Board for many years.  She was self-employed as a bookkeeper and tax preparer for several decades.             When Eugene died in 2004, Edgel relocated to Kingman, Arizona.  She loved her family dearly, and taught them all she knew of how to live life with conviction, but her greatest love beckoned her, and she is finally on ?that last roundup? with Eugene.             Edgel is survived by two sons and a daughter and their spouses, Gene and Susan Bennett of Clinton, Maine; Robert and Kristi Bennett of Page, Arizona; and Sherrol and Eldon Pitts of Kingman, Arizona; her brothers, Herb Surrett of Prescott Valley, Arizona and Walter Surrett of Tonto Basin, Arizona; her sister, Mary Davis, of Phoenix, Arizona; and 9 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren.

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