Former Hamilton Co. Assessor of Property, County Commissioner Bill Bennett dies at 82
Former Hamilton County Assessor of Property Bill Bennett has passed away at the age of 82.
According to his obituary, Bennett died Friday.
William "Bill" C. Bennett was born in Sparta, Tennessee, on April 8, 1936. He was one of six boys, and he had one sister.
He was married for 61 years to his wife, Marguerite. He referred to her as "The Speaker of the House."
He joined the Army Reserves and worked at Combustion Engineering and the Chattanooga Times Free Press before entering politics.
"Bill was active in political campaigns, and became a part of what was referred to as the “Harrison Mafia,” along with Bobby Wood, Claude Ramsey, and others," his obituary said.
In 1980, Bennett began serving on the County Commission. He represented District 9, which mainly consisted of Highway 58, Ooltewah and Collegedale.
During his time as a commissioner, he helped develop a county-wide system for ambulance service, improve fire protection services and bring sewer services to the communities in his district. He also helped with the development of industrial parks.
Bennett served as a commissioner for 14 years. During that time, he was chairman for three terms. In 1994, he was appointed as Assessor of Property by his fellow commissioners. Two years later in 1996, Bennett was named the statewide Assessor of the Year.
He also served as president of the statewide assessor's association from 1999 to 2000, and the organization honored him with a lifetime achievement award in 2009.
Governor Bill Haslam appointed Bennett to the State Board of Equalization.
In 2015, Bennett decided to step away from elected office when his term ended in 2016.
Bennett was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008.
"Bill and his family are eternally grateful to Dr. Alsina, Nurse Kathy Daly, Dr. Darrell Johnson, all of the helpful staff at Tennessee Oncology, all those who prayed for him, and especially grateful to his Almighty Lord who blessed him with remission from multiple myeloma," his obituary says.
He was also a member of Lake Hills Church of Christ for more than 50 years and was a devoted Tennessee Vols fan.
He enjoyed coaching his children, while they were growing up, in sports. "Bill Bennett Field" was named after him at the Harrison ball fields.
Bennett's life motto was "try to make a difference every day."
His family will receive friends Monday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Tuesday from noon until funeral services begin at 1:00 pm. Visitation and services will take place at Chattanooga Funeral Home, North Chapel on Highway 153.
You can read Bennett's full obituary online.