494. Former Oak Hill Mayor Donna Jane Bennett dies in 2009, a decade after exiting political stage

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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.

 
Headline Surfer Top 500 Stories anniversary banner / Headline SurferAward-Winning Headline Surfer Publisher Henry Frederick
Award-winning Headline Surfer Editor/Publisher Henry Frederick is counting down his ranking of the Top 500 Stories throughout Volusia County, as part of the fifth anniversary celebration of the 24/7 Internet newspaper launched April 7, 2008. 

Recap Top 500 Stories: 

494. Former Oak Hill Mayor Donna Jane Bennett dies in 2009, a decade after exiting the political stage
Posted Thu, 2013-07-04 06:43
 
Lake Mary biker Mike Catchings at Biketoberfest 2011 in New Smyrna Beach / Headline Surfer495. Biketoberfest 2011 in New Smyrna Beach a bust
Posted Mon, 2013-06-17 03:51
 
Topless DeLand woman locator map496. Topless woman holds up DeLand traffic
Posted Mon, 2013-06-17 00:18 
 
Miami Dolphins great and Oak Hill winter resident Larry Csonka / Headline Surfer497. Oak Hill proud of its Super Bowl connection in winter resident Larry Csonka
Posted Wed, 2013-06-05 04:01
 
Stetson University's retired president H. Howard Lee / Headline Surfer498. Stetson University mourns passing of retired President H. Douglas Lee in 2009
Posted Wed, 2013-05-29 07:12
 
Pot washes up on New Smyrna Beach during July 4 weekend 2010 / Headline Surfer499. Kilo of pot washes ashore on New Smyrna Beach on July 4th weekend
Posted Fri, 2013-05-10 10:29
 
Henry and Sera Frederick / Headline Surfer500. Celebrating 5 years of covering greater Daytona Beach & New Smyrna Beach with 24/7 internet newspaper
Posted Sun, 2013-04-28 04:16  
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.