Charles D. and Jeanette Bennett
This fund was established in 2013 through a Will Bequest from the estates of Charles D. and Jeanette Bennett. The Bennett family has been a loyal supporter of Western Kentucky University and believes strongly in supporting students in obtaining higher education.
Charles D. Bennett was born on February 25, 1923 to Joseph P. and Allie Bertie Lewis Bennett of Bremen (Muhlenberg County), Kentucky. Jeanette was born in Hardin County, Kentucky on July 31, 1922 to Clarence and Nettie Hatfield Revlett. Jeanette’s family moved to Muhlenberg County while she was still young, and the two met at church. Over the years, much teasing turned to high school dating, and on July 19, 1941, “Charlie” and Jeanette were married.
The couple moved to Lexington where Jeanette worked, and Charlie pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky, while working part-time. After his graduation in 1946, Charlie and Jeanette moved to Owensboro, and then to Breckinridge County, Kentucky in 1949 where they settled. They borrowed money to buy cattle and a farm, and began their new life. Over the years, Charlie held down numerous jobs to help provide for the family, several of which required him to be away from home a great deal in the early years. Often, he returned from traveling for work during the week, and farmed long into the night over the weekend. During this time, Jeanette balanced the needs of the growing family with management of the dairy farm, which included milking cows, and overseeing a successful milk delivery service.
By 1960, Charlie had received his Master’s degree and the couple had continued in a true entrepreneurial spirit to enlarge their farm holdings and their milk routes. Charlie worked as a supervisor for the Agriculture Soil Conservation office, an agriculture representative for Standard Oil (Chevron), and briefly as a car salesman. Though these jobs were rewarding in many ways and helped pay the bills, it wasn’t until 1971, when Charlie and Jeanette sat down with their five children and discussed investing in the local Farmers Bank of Hardinsburg, Kentucky that Charlie found his “true calling”. He became president of the local bank and under his leadership, Farmers Bank expanded from one to three locations. In 1985, the Bennett family also purchased controlling interest in the Leitchfield Deposit Bank, Leitchfield, Kentucky. Until his death in December, 2012, Charlie continued to serve as president of Farmers Bancshares, Inc., the holding company that owned the two banks. Jeannette preceded Charlie in death on November 29, 2011, after a marriage of 70 years.
Throughout their lives, Charlie and Jeanette maintained a strong commitment to family and religious faith, an exceptional work ethic, and a firm belief in service to their community. All five of their children completed college degrees, three of those attending WKU. Additionally, three of six grandchildren attended WKU. Through this scholarship, the Bennett family (parents Charlie and Jeanette, and children, Sarah, David, Becky, Annette and Mickey) hope to encourage and support individuals pursuing their college degree, and to pass along their love of lifelong learning.