John Cooper Bennett, also lovingly known as J.B. and Johnny Boy, passed away at age 74 in Atlantic Beach, Fla., on July 27, 2020. He was born in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 19, 1946, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, and was a member of the Lee basketball team. As a young adolescent, John was diagnosed with diabetes and became a passionate advocate for diabetes awareness and research efforts. He was president of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and volunteered to consult young, newly diagnosed diabetes patients. After a career spanning more than 40 years, John retired from working for his longtime friend Jennifer Duke and her family.
John liked to be near the water. When not in Jacksonville, he enjoyed fishing in the mountains of North Carolina, and on Anna Maria Island, Fla. He also enjoyed traveling, regaling stories, watching the Florida Gators and Jacksonville Jaguars, and visiting with loved ones. Many knew John for his beaming smile, tall stature and fun-loving nature — and for his kindness and generosity. John never knew a stranger.
John was preceded in death by his grandparents, Nancy and Plant Osborne; father, William Wells "Bill" Bennett; mother, Nancy Osborne Bennett; and brother, William Wells Bennett, Jr. He is survived by his life partner, Mary King of Atlantic Beach, Fla.; brother, Roberts O. Bennett (Orinda Evans) of Atlanta, Ga.; sisters-in-law, Kathleen King of Jacksonville, Fla., and Joni Adno of Sarasota, Fla.; and brother-in-law, John King (Joy) of Neptune Beach, Fla. He is also survived by 10 nieces and nephews: Wells Bennett (Debra, and their children Katerina and Reid) of Washington, D.C.; Ian Eckerson of Sarasota, Fla.; Elizabeth Bennett of Washington, D.C.; Kristen King (William Smith) of New York, N.Y.; Mason King of Neptune Beach, Fla.; and Henry King of Neptune Beach, Fla.
A celebration of John’s life will be planned for a future date to be determined. To receive updates on the event, or to share photos or memories of John with his surviving family members, please email InMemoryofJohnBennett@gmail.com. Please donate to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers.