Like a lot of you, I got some sad and heartbreaking news today. Bill Bennett's cancer came back a few months ago and the prognosis isn't good. We can take some consolation in that he is at peace and in no pain. Hospice is doing a wonderful job ministering to him.
I am writing this in hopes he can read this and know once again my feelings toward him. I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of serving under Mr. B as his director of commercial and industrial property for 19 years when he was Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He treated me and the other employees in the office like family.
He always encouraged me to be the best I could at my job and was always very generous in praising the job I did to me and to others.
I have never met a kinder man than Bill Bennett. He seemed to never hold a grudge toward others who had wronged him. Quick to forgive and in a lot of cases, help those who opposed him. He was born to serve and lead in whatever job he took on and he has always done so with great dedication and unquestionable honesty and integrity.
I always enjoyed the great stories he told, especially the ones about sports when he was writing for a Nashville newspaper.
Bill Bennett has always been a very humble man and never forgot where he came from. He was and is blessed with a wonderful family. He was especially proud of his parents and enjoyed telling others about his father being a preacher.
Praying for you, Mr. B, and your entire family. The world is a better place because of you. You touched many lives in a positive way.
When you leave this earth there is no doubt where you are going. Heavens gain and our loss. Thanks for being a part of mine and Donna's life. We could always count on you to be there for us. You will be greatly missed by a lot of people.
James R. Gattis