Joseph William Bennett Jr., passed away Sept. 17, 2010 at Island Health and Rehabilitation on Bainbridge Island, Wash. with his family by his side. He was born to Alice and the late Joseph Bennett Sr. in Juneau on Nov. 26, 1938. He was 71 years of age.
He lived in Angoon in his younger years, attended and played varsity basketball at Sheldon Jackson and graduated in 1959. He was one of the "5 Jacks." Joe and his family lived in Juneau before moving to Bainbridge Island. He worked as a commercial fisherman with his family from 12 years of age until 1975. He also worked as a postal worker, in the Juneau Cold Storage, with the railroad, doing construction and managing a timber lodge. Joe served in the U.S. Navy from October, 1961 until June, 1965 and was a Vietnam veteran. He received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and was active in the American Legion Post on Bainbridge Island. He had a small cameo appearance in the movie "In Harms Way," an old Navy movie starring Kirk Douglas and John Wayne.
Joe was a delegate for the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Seattle, Indian Health Board Member, and a member of the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans. He also performed with the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dance Group. He was a member of the Was'hineidi Clan from Kake. His Tlingit names were "Yeildaadzee" (Raven's Flint) after his maternal uncle William John, "Yooyakdujeek" by his paternal grandfathers of the Wolf House of the Sitka Kaagwaantaan, his grandfather Charlie Bennett (Anaaxhoots) having been one of the clan leaders from this house and "X'aak'Weesh" (Freshwater Married Salmon Father).
He is survived by his wife Arlene V. Bennett of Bainbridge Island; children: Jolene (John) Baisden of Deming, Wash., Jolie (Marvin) Wyatt of Sherwood, Ore., and Jana Beck; mother, Alice Bennett of Juneau; siblings: Arlene (Walt) Adams of Douglas, Jerry (Arlene) Bennett, Robert (Wilma) Bennett, Bertrand Bennett, Walter Bennett Sr. and Josephine Rhyner, all of Juneau. Joe had four grandchildren: Jovana and Jessa Baisden and Justine and Jeffery Beck Jr; and numerous nephews, nieces and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Charlie Bennett Sr.
Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend the Memorial Service at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tlingit and Haida Community Council building on Hospital Drive. A reception will follow.