Photo for Headline Surfer / Donna Jane Bennett, mayor of Oak Hill from 1992-'99, died 10 years after her tenure as mayor.
OAK HILL -- Though she was mayor of Oak Hill for the better part of the 1990s, not much has been chronicled the on the relatively short life of former Mayor Donna Jane Bennett, who died unexpectedly in 2009. She was 57.
Bennett's passing comes in at No. 494 in Headline Surfer's Top 500 countown as part off its 5th anniversary celebration.
Family and friends paid their final respects to the life-long Oak Hill resident in a May 19 service at the First Baptist Church, with the Rev. Emerson Bolton, Sr., officiating.
Bennett died three days earlier at Florida Hospital Ormond Memorial.The circumstances that led to her passing were kept private.
Bennett was mayor from 1994 to 1999, according to Oak Hill officials, at the time of her passing. But curious enough, she's not included in a Wikipedia write-up on Oak Hill's history with others who held the office before and after her.
Bennett was mayor from 1992 to 1999, according to Oak Hill officials, at the time of her passing. But curious enough, she's not even included in a Wikipedia write-up on Oak Hill's history with others who held the office before and after her.
Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia write-up: Clarence Goodrich was the city's mayor from 1963 to 1989, the longest term any mayor has held in the state of Florida. Bobby Greatrex was mayor from 1989 to 1990, and Bruce Burch served from 1990 to 1994. Toreatha Wood became the city's first African-American mayor, first female mayor, and first African-American female mayor, serving from 1999 to 2000. Darry Evans was the first African American male mayor. Lorna Travis was mayor from 2000 to 2001, Susan Cook was mayor from 2001 to 2002, and Bob Jackson was mayor in 2002. Mayor Darla Lauer resigned for personal reasons, and was replaced by Mary Lee Cook. The current mayor is Douglas Gibson, who was elected in November of 2012.
Born in Daytona Beach, Bennett, a former teacher at Samsula and Indian River Elementary. She attended the First Baptist Church and Shady Grove Church of God in Oak Hill. She was very active in her community and enjoyed tutoring children after retiring.
In terms oof immediate family, Benett is survived by her mother, Dolly Williams of Oak Hill; a daughter, Shonnette Bennett of Samsula; three sisters, Susan Townsend and Teresa Dixon, both of Oak Hill, and Belinda Williams of St. Augustine; and a brother, Jim Williams of Oak Hill.
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