Earl Franklin “Frank” Bennett, age 77, passed away at Hiland Cottage, Petoskey, MI, on July 27, 2018, with his family by his side.
Frank was born November 5, 1940, in Norway, MI, to the late John Earl and Lulu (Wilks) Bennett. Frank graduated from Iron Mountain High School where he met Sharon Zambon. They were married on August 27, 1960 for almost 58 loving years.
Frank pursued his dream of becoming a pilot by working as a mechanic for Fontana Aviation, in exchange for flying lessons. With his pilot license and mechanical know how he landed his dream job as a pilot for the DNR and moved his family to Gaylord in 1970. Frank retired in 1997 and with Sharon as his copilot they traveled all 50 states, Canada, and Europe.
Frank was an active member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Gaylord since 1980, he also was a member of the State Employees Retirement Association.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, infant daughter Wendy Kay, sister and brother- in- law Carol and Al Heidenreich.
He is survived by his wife Sharon, daughters Renee (Doug) Becker of Gaylord, Debbie (Jack) Janisch of Johannesburg, Karla (Lawrence) Frabotta of Macomb. Grandchildren Katie and Brad Balesky, Sheri Becker, Gabriela and Adriana Frabotta, Brother-in-law Terry (Candy) Zambon, along with several nieces and nephews. Additional family members Dann and Jeanne Balesky.
A Celebration of Life will take place at the Nelson Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 12pm, with burial following at Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 10am on Wednesday, August 1 and continue until the time of service.
Memorial Contributions can be made to Hiland Cottage Hospice House in Petoskey.
Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI, 49734.