James Vernon Bennett III 

James Vernon Bennett III was born on October 4, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, and died on September 26, 2017 in Sylacauga, Alabama, surrounded by his loving family. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Velma and James Vernon Bennett, Jr., and by his stepson, Roy Arnold Peeler.  He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Virginia Roy Bennett, and children, James Bennett IV and wife Layne; David Bennett and wife Melissa; Tom Peeler and wife Rene; Mark Peeler; Tim Peeler; and Aaron Bennett. He is the beloved grandfather of seven grandchildren, Megan, Shelby, Sydney, Gracie, Jimmy, Sean and Cayleb; and one great-granddaughter, Mila.  He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Vanita and Terry Briley; and his brother and sister-in-law, Daryl and Carol Bennett. Jim was the oldest of three children and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended White Station High School and later The University of Tennessee. In 1983, Jim and Ginny founded Bennett Equipment Company, a commercial laundry equipment distributor with offices in Jackson, Mississippi, and Memphis. They later expanded the business with the addition of four laundromats in the Jackson vicinity.  In 1996, they sold the business and relocated to Heber Springs, Arkansas, where they lived for 17 years and owned and operated Northside Laundry for 13 years.  Known to many as “Rocky,” he had a big and generous heart that won the respect and admiration of friends, family, customers, business associates and all who knew him. Though many have attempted to put into words the impact of this man’s life here on earth, his 18-year-old grandson Sean summed it up best:  “My grandfather, Jim Bennett, died early this morning fighting pneumonia. I’ll miss him so much; we all will. He was a caring man who put his family above all else except God. He and my grandmother took my brother and I in when I was only three, when our parents left us behind. He gave up his retirement to raise us after already raising seven boys because he wanted us to have a good life. Even though we both put them both through a lot of crap and too many times acted like ungrateful brats, there was never a time he said he regretted taking us in. I owe everything to him, and in my eyes, he was our real father. The world lost a great man today, and I hope someday I can be half the man he was. Rest in Peace, Pop.” A celebration of life will be held later this year. For those who wish to commemorate his life and passing, the family suggests that donations be made to The Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.