Frances JoAnn Bennett Krueger, age 75 years of Niles, Michigan died unexpectedly at 11:51 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at Lakeland Hospital – Niles of natural causes.
She was born on September 16, 1941 in Kensett, Arkansas to Garvin and Edna (Ramsey) Bennett. She was graduated with the Class of 1959 from Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan, and earned an Associate’s Degree from Southwestern Michigan College. She was employed for many years in the offices of the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company.
JoAnn was a member of the Niles Noon Optimist Club, where she was a very active volunteer for the Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life. She was a prolific knitter, making washcloths and scarfs – many of which were sold to benefit the Relay for Life. Her family remembers that “Josie” enjoyed traveling, including regular visits with “the girls” back to Arkansas, and a recent trip to Hawai’i. She also enjoyed reading novels about the Old South and westerns.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Elizabeth (Smart) Westveer in 2015; her mother, Edna Bennett who died at age 46, and father, Garvin (& Alice) Bennett; and by her brother, Harold “Buddy” Bennett. She was previously married to Robert W. Smart.
Surviving family includes her siblings, Delores Marshall of Morton, Illinois, Gerald Bennett of Cave City, Arkansas, Carolyn (& Jurld) Defoor of Drasco, Arkansas, Ed (& Dee) Bennett of Saint Joseph, Michigan, Stan (& Sally) Bennett of Lake Placid, Florida, Shirley (& Don) Gatchell of Benton Harbor, Michigan, Gail (& Howard) Heimke of Alpena, Michigan, Deb Taylor of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Loretta Mills of Niles, and Jeff Bennett of Little Rock, Arkansas; a step-sister, Sandy Price of Traverse City, Michigan; more than 100 nieces and nephews; and Josie’s long-time companion, Steve Foster.
The funeral service for JoAnn Krueger will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles. Interment will follow at Mission Hills.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of JoAnn may be made to the Niles-Buchanan Relay for Life.