Frances Bennett: 1918 ~ 2014


Frances Villard Bennett, formerly of Three Rivers, died Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. She was 95.

Frances was born to Albert and Agnes Villard on October 13, 1918, in Delano, Calif.

Frances married Leonard Bennett on October 1, 1944. They lived in Tulare were they owned the Buena Vista Market until their retirement in 1974.  

In 1975, Frances was preceded in death by her husband of more than 30 years. After Leonard passed away, Frances relocated to Stockton to be near family. 

Frances lived in Stockton for three years before relocating to Three Rivers, where she lived for the next 29 years. For the past seven years, she has lived in Visalia. 

Frances was an avid and gifted bridge player and enjoyed traveling, golf, and cheering on the San Francisco 49ers and Giants. She treasured the time spent with her family and friends. And her grandchildren will remember her babysitting prowess with much fondness.

In addition to her husband, Frances was preceded in death by her parents and five siblings: Virginia Smith and Ambrose, Albert, John, and Daniel Villard.  

She is survived by her two sons, Stephen Bennett and wife Christine of Three Rivers and Douglas Bennett and wife Debrah of Stockton; sisters Katherine Bender of Tulare and Angela Price of Sedona, Ariz.; and sister-in-law Dorothy Villard of Bakersfield. 

Frances was the cherished “Notna” to seven grandchildren and their spouses: Kerrie Gostanian and husband Russell of Visalia, Lisa Vawter and husband David of Three Rivers, Stacie Sharar and husband Marcus of Modesto, Jeffrey Bennett and wife Paula of Acampo, Michael Bennett and wife Sarah of Granite Bay, Brooke McCollough and husband Matthew of Lodi, and Kevin Bennett of Stockton.

In addition, she was the adored “GG” to 13 great-grandchildren and will be greatly missed by her many nieces, nephews and godchildren.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Visalia on Thursday, Aug. 28.  A private burial was held at the Tulare District Cemetery.  

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