John Bennett, cherished friend, uncle, brother, and cousin, left us January 5, 2020.
John was born June 11, 1962, to Bonnie Stone and David Wells Bennett. He prized his pioneer heritage and Utah roots and strove to serve his community as his forebears did, including his grandfather Wallace F. Bennett and uncle Robert F. Bennett, both U.S. Senators.
John graduated from the University of Utah and was awarded his diploma by his father. He held leadership roles in the ’80s and ’90s at the University of Utah Lesbian and Gay Student Union, AIDS Project Utah, Utah Pride Festival, and the Gay and Lesbian Community Council of Utah.
Growing up in a musical home, John became an accomplished classical pianist. He was accompanist at the Salt Lake Men’s Choir for three years and, in 1993, founded The Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Salt Lake City. He loved accompanying and playing music with his friends.
He served as executive director of the Utah Stonewall Center, now the Utah Pride Center, from 1994 to 1995. He was part of many other groups, including the Utah AIDS Memorial Quilt Project, and marched with the Utah contingent at the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987.
John had a gift for loving and working with seniors, and managed a senior center of Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services from 2004 to 2013 before taking on the role of full-time caregiver for his aging parents until his mother’s death in May of 2018.
He started Bennett’s Art Glass in 2015. The name paid homage to the Art Glass Department of a former family business, Bennett’s Paint and Glass. He did custom pieces for many homes as well as Franklin Covey.
He became president of LifeRing Secular Recovery, a secular alternative to 12-Step recovery for drug and alcohol dependency, in 2017.
In November, John was hired as a program manager at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, Pharmacotherapy Department.
With a quirky sense of humor and a natural playfulness, John was at home with children and loved his nieces and nephews and his dogs, Squirt and Sparky. He was part of a loving extended Bennett family. He is survived by his sisters, Amy Johnson and Emily Watts, and his brother, Dan Bennett.
His life and gifts will be celebrated Sunday, January 19, 5:00 p.m., at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 261 South 900 East, Salt Lake City.