Donald Andrew Bennis was born on September 4th, 1934 in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to Joe and Majorie (Ambrose) Bennis. Don flew West to Eternal Life on November 10th, 2023.
He attended Holyoke High School and graduated in 1952. Upon graduation he worked in a Sales capacity and in March of 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He would be stationed in the U.S. for his basic schooling in Ground Communication Equipment Repair in Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta, he would meet the lovely June Ellene Fricks and they would marry on October 20th, 1956 at Dobbins Air Force Base. Don would also serve in the Korean theatre with the 5th Air Force, the 608th A.C. & W Squadron, Det. #4 and would receive a battlefield commission while stationed 12 miles South of the North Korean Border. In March 1957, Don would be Honorably Discharged from the U.S.A.F. and would remain in the Air Force Reserve.Don and June would eventually settle in Memphis, Tennessee and have three children, Susan, Laura, and David. They would all attend Our Lady of Sorrows grade school and Memphis Catholic High School. Don would eventually find employment with the Burroughs Corporation putting his Air Force education to good use in the cutting-edge technology of computers. He would assist companies in their set up and Federal Express would be just one of his accounts. He would continue his advanced training with Burroughs in the computer field with the many courses they offered and would finally become the Sales and Recruiting Manager in Memphis, Tennessee. At the end of his successful career with Burroughs/Unisys, he would make the transition to become a Catholic Deacon in 2000 and with June, they would minister at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church where they had been Communicants since 1963.

He and June would devote their time to the ministry at OLS as well as Prison Ministry. Don was always willing to help counsel those in need of sound advice on matters of the Catholic Faith as well as working in Alcoholics Anonymous.

His love of airplanes would continue with his association of the “Memphis Belle” and the dear friendships he developed with this iconic, WWII, B-17 Bomber and especially with Dr. Harry Friedman. He would become the Chaplain for the MBMA and it was his sad day to see the “Belle” depart Memphis in 2005 when the National Museum of the United States Air Force came to pick up the “Belle” and transport her to Dayton, Ohio to be fully restored.

Don and June were keen travelers and their adventures would go to Medjugorje, Rome, Ireland, Bermuda, the Hawaiian Islands, and Las Vegas. Don leaves behind a rich and growing family and he loved to spend time over many a holiday meal and would always open his hospitality to any who needed it. He loved good movies and especially “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “12 O’Clock High” because they always offered something that affirmed his Faith. He loved to watch good TV shows such as Mission Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, Wings, Newhart, and Blue Bloods. He really enjoyed eating at and playing slots at the local casinos. He loved collecting and repairing watches and clocks as well as collecting military models of aircraft. His yard would be well groomed and the roses would always bloom in the Spring and Summer. He never failed to tell a joke or two and we would tell him we had to get a new joke book for him. We would also refer to him as Mr. Haney because he felt you should never leave without a small token of his generosity and gift giving. He was always present in his Family’s lives with advice, counsel, and good humor. He leaves behind his daughters Susan (Michael), Laura (Gary), and David (Leslie), along with seven grandkids, (Adam, Sara, Rebecca, Lee, Christopher, Paul, and Rachel) and fifteen great grandchildren, (Gabe, Eli, Lily, Rhys, Catie, Robbie, Claire, Jack, Issac, Ella, June, Noah, Belle, Brady, and Robbie). He ran the good race, fought the good fight, and he had a Wonderful Life. His Faith never wavered.

Visitation & Funeral Mass: Saturday, December 2, 2023, 9:00 am; Rosary at 9:30 am
Funeral Mass at 10:00 am Mass all at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 3700 Thomas Street, Memphis, Tennessee
Burial: 1:30 pm; Memphis Memorial Gardens, 3700 North Germantown Parkway, Bartlett, Tennessee.
Translate »