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Dr Brenton Lewis Bennett

Dr Brenton Lewis Bennett

Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, USA
Death 13 Apr 2016 (aged 52)
Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas, USA
Burial Madison, Greenwood County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 161004812 · View Source
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The Emporia Gazette, Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Local dentist Brenton Bennett, 52, has died from injuries sustained in an injury accident shortly after 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The accident occurred at the intersection of W. Ninth Ave. and Chestnut Street.

The Emporia Police Department says that Jenny Baysinger, 38, of Madison was driving a Pontiac SUV-type vehicle north on Chestnut Street and Bennett was driving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound. The motorcycle struck the driver side door of the Pontiac. Traffic on Chestnut Street is controlled by a stop sign at W. Ninth Ave.

Bennett was transported by ambulance to Newman Regional Health with apparent injuries to his head and arm. The accident remains under investigation by the Emporia Police Department. Announcement of any charges are pending the results of the investigation.

The Emporia Gazette, Thursday, April 14, 2016
By Stephen Coleman


As members of the Emporia community filtered into the Trusler Sports Complex Wednesday evening, the stoic look on many faces spoke more than words.

The cloud that hovered though wasn’t from the grass fires littering the county, but the saddening news that became known little more than an hour before first pitch at Glennen Field, Emporian Brenton Bennett, dentist and longtime member of the Chamber of Commerce, had been killed in a motorcycle accident.

The somber cloud carried over into the game, as Washburn scored two quick runs in the second inning. It wasn’t long after when Sluggerrr, mascot of the Kansas City Royals arrived and began making rounds. Despair began to dissipate. He drew children and photo craving parents by the dozens while humoring kids and adults alike with his antics. The Hornets responded well too, recovering to take a 7-3 lead. The initial tension was lifting and the celebration of a beloved man’s life was set to begin.

“You want it to be a celebration and not mourning,” said Pete Euler, serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Chamber of Commerce. “It’s exactly that. Everybody’s having a good time and Brenton was a person that wanted to make sure everyone had a good time. He added value about every place he was ever at.”

Bennett’s absence was noted on Wednesday as the longtime member of the Chamber had been a regular figure at Emporia State athletic events, as well as other things involving the university,

“What I’ve talked to many people about is Brenton lived a full life, he loved life, he loved ESU, enjoyed coming to all their different activities and events,” said Chamber President and CEO Jeanine McKenna. “So, even though we’re here with heavy hearts, we know this is something he would have a ball with.”

McKenna said while it was unfortunate for those putting it on that Wednesday’s Chamber event couldn’t be postponed or rearranged on such short notice, she felt “we’re out here enjoying knowing that he would’ve been out here enjoying himself as well.”

Even as the Hornets watched Washburn rally to win the game 11-8, it was evident that the biggest loss on the day wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard above Glennen Field.

“The Bennett family has meant to much to us,” said ESU Athletics Director Kent Weiser. “Every basketball game they sit right behind me. I laugh with them, joke with them, listen to them encourage the team and get after the refs. I just hate that for all the Bennett family because they’re such wonderful people and (he’ll) be very much missed.”

KVOE, April 14th, 2016

A wonderful person with a wonderful personality.

That's how David Traylor Zoo Director Lisa Keith described Brenton Bennett, the local dentist killed during a crash involving an SUV and his motorcycle Wednesday. She called Bennett's death a "hard loss for Emporia."

Bennett was a part of the Emporia Friends of the Zoo, and Keith says he was active dating back to his first year on the board in 2002.

Retired dentist Gary Ace agrees on all counts. Bennett was part of a successful dental practice, the Bennett Dental Group, operating that with his father, Richard Bennett.

The investigation continues into the crash that killed Bennett, who was 52 when he died. He was riding a motorcycle east on Ninth and slammed into a northbound SUV on Chestnut driven by 38-year-old Jenny Baysinger of Madison after Baysinger began crossing Ninth in front of Bennett's motorcycle. Baysinger was not hurt in the crash.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Midnight Thursday: EPD investigating after crash-related death of popular dentist

An investigation continues after a fatal crash involving a motorcycle and an SUV on Wednesday.

The vehicles collided at Ninth and Chestnut shortly after 1 pm. Emporia Police Sgt. Lisa Sage details what happened:

Bennett, 52, was taken to Newman Regional Health with apparent head and arm injuries before he passed away. Baysinger, 38, was not hurt.

Following the wreck, Police Sgt. Lisa Sage urged drivers and cyclists to be aware of other vehicles and to take all necessary safety precautions.

4:15 pm Wednesday: Popular local dentist killed in SUV-motorcycle wreck

A crash near Newman Regional Health has led to the death of a popular local dentist.

Police Sgt. Lisa Sage says EPD and Emporia rescue workers responded to an injury crash at Ninth and Chestnut shortly before 1:10 pm. The preliminary investigation found 38-year-old Jenny R. Baysinger of Madison was driving an SUV-style vehicle northbound on Chestnut and 52-year-old Brenton Bennett of Emporia was eastbound on Ninth, riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, when the crash happened. Bennett's motorcycle hit the driver-side door of the SUV.

Chestnut is controlled by a stop sign at the intersection. Ninth is not.

Bennett was taken to Newman Regional Health with apparent head and arm injuries, but he died from injuries suffered in the wreck.

The crash is still under investigation, so further details are pending.

Bennett was part of a successful dental practice, the Bennett Dental Group, operating that with his father, Richard Bennett. He also was heavily involved in several local groups, including the Emporia Friends of the Zoo, and he was an avid supporter of Emporia State University.

Funeral details will be announced when they are available.

3:40 PM: Car-motorcycle crash at Ninth and Chestnut, paramedics deployed to aid injured motorcyclist

Members of Emporia Fire/EMS have taken a badly injured motorcyclist involved in a crash to Newman Regional Health.

A cordon was established around the intersection of 9th and Chestnut while Emporia police officers and paramedics responded to a crash involving a black motorcycle and white SUV. Sgt. Lisa Sage of the Emporia Police Department said information is forthcoming as an investigation into the cause of the crash commences. The driver of the white SUV did not require first aid, but emergency medical technicians worked feverishly to assist the badly injured motorcyclist before taking him to Newman Regional Health.

Updates on this story are pending.

1:30 PM: The vehicles collided at Ninth and Chestnut shortly after 1 pm. The severity of injuries to the motorcycle driver has not yet been confirmed. There is currently no report of injuries to the driver.

KVOE News reporters Bruce Rosenbloom and Chuck Samples contributed to this report.

KSNT, April 14, 2016


EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia locals are mourning the loss of a local dentist, Brenton Bennett, who died yesterday in a motorcycle accident after striking a vehicle at W. Ninth Ave. and Chestnut Street.

Kelly Mayer, a close friend of Bennett, remembers him as a caring man and an avid outdoorsman.

“He was so upbeat, so positive, and so caring,” she says. “He just made friends with everybody.”

Bennett was also a board member of Emporia Friends of the Zoo. Fellow board members also say that he was a positive influence on the organization.

“You never knew when you were in the doctor’s chair with Dr. Bennett,” says David Traylor Zoo of Emporia’s Lisa Keith. “He made every child smile who got into his chair. And I bet you can say the same thing about every adult as well.”

He was a supporter of Emporia State University and a contributor to other multiple charity organizations.

We spoke to Bennett’s family who did not want to go on camera but say they are devastated.

The Emporia Police Department says the wreck is currently under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time.

The Emporia Gazette, Monday, April 18, 2016
By Bobbi Mlynar Special to the Gazette

The opportunity to age slipped out of Brenton Bennett’s control Wednesday afternoon. Chances are, however, the irrepressible dentist never would have grown old in the traditional sense of the word.

Bennett, 52, died Wednesday afternoon at Newman Regional Health, where he was taken after the motorcycle he was riding collided with an SUV at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Chestnut Street.

Friends consistently mentioned Bennett’s ability to interject fun and laughter and kindness as he dedicated himself to his patients and to the many causes he chose to support.

“He was 52 going on 18. He was just a free spirit,” said retired dentist Gary Ace. “The innocence of youth is so important, and we lose it.

“If everybody had a little Brenton Bennett inside of them, it would be a better world out there.”

When Ace returned to Emporia to open a dental practice, his mentor had been Bennett’s father, Dr. Richard Bennett. Ace watched Brenton grow from a teenager into a young man who followed his father into dentistry, as Richard Bennett himself had done.

“He had two wonderful dentists to emulate,” Ace said. “He had his granddad and his father. I don’t think there was anyone more proud than his dad when he came back ...” to join the Bennett dental practice.

Above and beyond

The young dentist quickly became involved beyond the confines of the office. He, Ace and a handful of other local dentists put themselves on a rotation to provide dental services to patients Friday mornings at the Flint Hills Community Health Center.

Bennett also found opportunities to provide dental care beyond his home area.

“He went to every Kansas Mission of Mercy they ever had, I think,” Ace said. “... If there was a cause he was interested in, he got behind it 100 percent.”

KMOM dentists would gather in a host city for two days to give free dental care to those who could not afford traditional dentistry.

Records showed that in January 2011, Bennett and two staff members were part of a team of 135 dental volunteers who treated 1,638 patients in two days and set a record total of providing $1,248,344.90 in free dental care.

Ace described Bennett as a caring person, always interested in friends and family, and never failing to inquire about Ace’s children as part of every conversation.

“There was such a serious side of him that a lot of people didn’t see,” Ace said. “They saw the ornery part, the fun-loving part, but there was a deep, serious part about him, too, and I really appreciated that.”

Friendly persuasion

Children were a priority for Bennett and he knew how to relate to them, particularly in his dental practice.

The parent of one of his patients posted on Facebook Thursday a video Bennett had made for her son, who seemed to brush his teeth only at night. Dressed in his smock, a surgical mask, and wearing a set of over-sized dental binoculars — mostly on the top of his head — Bennett mugged and joked his way through a 52-second lesson to congratulate the boy on always brushing his teeth at night and reminding him it is important to brush after other meals, too.

He ended the video flashing a double thumbs-up and sending a message of encouragement:

“You’re the best,” Bennett told the boy, “... and I think you’re great.”

By Friday morning, the video had recorded hundreds of “shares” and thousands of viewings.

Comforting calls

Friends said they could count on Bennett to be there when life dealt some of its worst blows.

More than one Facebook poster said Bennett had been among the first to offer solace and sympathy during those times.

David Traylor Zoo Director Lisa Keith recalled Bennett’s compassion at the death of Samson, the mountain lion Keith had hand-fed from a small cub. The special relationship between the big cat and Keith had lasted for 16 years.

“He was on the (Emporia Friends of the Zoo) board when Samson passed, and he was the first to call me,” Keith said. “He really understood the pain that I and the other zoo staff were going through.”

Bennett spent the evening with Keith and her husband Brian, sharing memories and talking through the grief.

“He had a knack for turning your sorrow or grief or sadness,” Keith said. “No matter what the situation, he was able to turn it around ... He had a way to make you always be positive.”

Bennett had been a dedicated EFOZ board member, she said, who would serve the six-year term limit, then wait eagerly for a year to pass so he could return to the board.

He usually served as chairman of the annual zoo open house, donning a kangaroo costume to greet guests at the gate, and always dressed as an elf for the zoo’s annual holiday lighting event.

“He was just a phenomenal fellow with tremendous spirit,” Keith said.”His spirit was really catching. There’s just not words to explain Brenton Bennett. He was just above and beyond.”

Bennett’s love for his family, his profession and his community was genuine, she said.

“The whole family is like that. They have a zest for life and a love for their community, and it shows.”

Bennett also had been involved as an instructor in the Lyon County 4-H shooting program and had been an avid hunter himself.

“I remember when he went hog hunting down in Arkansas and crushed his ankle,” Ace recalled. Since both Ace and Bennett both had run track, Ace lent a supply of recordings of Olympic competitions for the younger dentist to enjoy while he recuperated.

Bennett also was a passionate and vocal supporter of Emporia State athletics.

“He didn’t go to all the games, but when he did you knew he was there,” Ace said.

Bennett started early

Former zoo and parks director David Traylor said Bennett was someone who could be counted on to do his share. That had been so since Bennett was a youngster.

Traylor had come to know Brenton Bennett as a young teen, when Traylor, the Rev. Butch Ritter, and other adults had accompanied a First United Methodist Church youth group on two mission trips to New Mexico.

The group had made adobes and helped villagers make improvements in their area. Bennett’s good humor had been evident even then, and it only grew larger as the boy turned into a man.

Traylor described him as an asset to the community, with a talent for including people in conversations and causes and making them feel part of the group.

“To me, that was noticeable and another one of his attributes,” Traylor said. “He was just good for those that he was around.”

He and Bennett continued working together and having fun in shared causes, through EFOZ, Quails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and other organizations.

“He did things to help others. No one forced him to do it,” Traylor said. “The thing that’s neat about it was he’d do things to help others, but he wasn’t one to say, ‘Look what I did.’ He did it because of the goodness in his heart.”

That goodness of heart perhaps best captures Bennett’s essence and his purpose in life.

“God puts good people here to help us. That’s why He had Brenton here,” Traylor said. “Time will heal the sadness. Just look at the good that he’s done and the happiness he’s brought to so many people.

“We can also say that we were blessed to have known him.”

Dr. Brenton L. Bennett
(September 11, 1963 - April 13, 2016)

Dr. Brenton L. Bennett of Emporia died Wednesday, April 13, 2016. He was 52.

The visitation will be from 5:00 until 9:00 in the evening, Thursday, April 21, 2016 at First United Methodist Church, Emporia. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Friday, April 22, 2016 at First United Methodist Church, Emporia.

A complete obituary will be published as soon as it becomes available.

The Emporia Gazette Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dr. Brenton L. Bennett, 52, of Emporia died Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at Newman Regional Health, Emporia.

Brenton was born on September 11, 1963, in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Richard L. and Rose Marie Culver Bennett. He married Jennifer Thurmon on August 17, 1986 in Wellington, Missouri. Together they had three children: Erica, Maryann, and Larkin. They later divorced.

Brenton lived a life that was full of love, laughter, and adventure. He was a graduate of Wentworth Military Academy, Baker University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. After school, he joined the family practice and was a dentist for over 27 years. He faithfully served his community through the Friends of the Zoo, 4-H Shooting Sports, and Flint Hills District Dental Society. He was a dedicated volunteer with the Kansas Mission of Mercy, helping thousands of Kansans receive free dental treatment each year. Brenton was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Emporia.

Brenton is survived by his son, Larkin Bennett of Sioux City, Iowa; daughters, Erica Bennett-McCabe and husband Ryan of Lawrence, and Maryann Peak and husband Zeb of Emporia; father, Dr. Richard L. Bennett of Emporia; brother, Brandon Bennett and wife Wendy of Atlanta, Georgia; sister, Margann Bennett and husband Jeff White of Lawrence; nieces and nephews, Annie Bennett, Kendall Bennett, John Bennett, Evan White, and Dru White; loving partner Rhonda Weatherbie of Emporia; ex-wife Jennifer Bennett of Emporia.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Rose Marie “Rosie” Bennett.

Nothing brought Brenton more happiness than spending time with his three kids. Whenever he could sneak away from the office (although he rarely wanted to be away for long), Brenton loved to spend his days on long motorcycle rides with Rhonda, surrounded by the beauty of the Flint Hills. He was an avid hunter and an outdoor sports enthusiast. Whether dressing up as an elf for the Zoo Christmas Lighting, or cheering on the Hornets, Brenton’s love for the Emporia community was clear. He will be dearly missed.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016, at 10:30 A.M., at the First United Methodist Church in Emporia. Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Thursday night at the church. Following the service, there will be a private family burial at the Blakely Cemetery in Madison. The family requests no flowers. Please direct all memorials to the Emporia Friends of the Zoo, Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation (for Kansas Mission of Mercy), or Wade’s Ride. These memorials can be sent in care of the funeral home. You can leave online condolences at the funeral home's website.

Family Members





  • Created by: Becky Doan
  • Added: 13 Apr 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 161004812
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Brenton Lewis Bennett (10 Sep 1963–13 Apr 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 161004812, citing Blakely Cemetery, Madison, Greenwood County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Becky Doan (contributor 46821009) .