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Bennett ‘believed in community’

Bennett ‘believed in community’
Bennett ‘believed in community’
Larry Bennett, who served as local relay chairman, looks on as former Indiana First Lady Judy O’Bannon lights the bicentennial torch during bicentennial festivities in September 2016. File photo/Brian Smith

Corydon’s Larry W. Bennett was laid to rest Friday afternoon in Cedar Hill Cemetery up the hill from his home. The 59-year-old died Tuesday morning, April 21, 2020, at Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville after a battle with liver disease.

“He was very proud of our community; he believed in our community,” said Jeremy Yackle, executive director of the First Capitol Tourism Development Commission, which does business as the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Yackle recalled that Bennett was one of the first people he met when he was hired to join the CVB in 2007.

“He acted like he had known me my whole life,” he said. “He was friendly. He always seemed to care about each person and was respectful of others.”

Bennett was a board member of the First Capitol Tourism Development Commission then and continued to serve on the board, promoting Corydon and the county, until his death.

“He was such a good board member … very supportive of our efforts,” Yackle said,

But, he was more than that.

“He was a friend,” Yackle added. “If I needed anything, big or small, I felt like he’d do it.”

It was that type of giving that endeared him to many.

Bennett did much for the community, with as much of it behind the scenes as possible.

Father John Fink, who presided over Bennett’s funeral Friday at Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon, said Larry’s sister, Pam Bennett Martin, talked while he would “just stand in the back and always be there.”

The service was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it could be heard over the radio for those who gathered outside the funeral home, spilling over from that parking lot into the lot of nearby Corydon Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

“Larry had a deep faith,” Fink said, citing times that Bennett would intercede on behalf of wayward Catholics who wanted to return to the church.

“That word ‘private’ would’ve described Larry,” Fink said, adding that Bennett had his own challenges to face during his life. “We all are a little hesitant to share who we really are” for fear others won’t understand.

Martin also spoke at the funeral, saying her brother was a “calculated risk taker.”

As a real estate developer, one of Bennett’s first endeavors was Willow Creek subdivision, east of Corydon, which overlooks Old Capital Golf Course, a place where Bennett spent much of his time. An avid golfer who played at courses around the world, Bennett also organized golf tournaments to raise funds, including the annual one for the Harrison County Hospital Foundation, another board Bennett served on.

The Corydon golf course is also where he helped put on the annual Kiwanis Club of Historic Harrison County’s Casabella’s Fireworks Celebration, “one of nicest displays in Southern Indiana,” Martin said. “He took such great pride in it.”

While Bennett didn’t like to be in the spotlight, others knew of his generosity. It led to him receiving the Leadership Harrison County Servant Leader Award in 2006.

“He never sought recognition,” Yackle said. “He just did (things) because it was the right thing to do. He was a special person.

“He will be hard to replace,” he said.