MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The family of former state Rep. Doug Bennett (D) is remembering him as an honest man who prioritized his family and the people he served.
“Without a doubt I know he’ll be remembered for his integrity,” said Shannon Larson, his daughter. “I think also just the love of family, the love of life.”
On Friday, Bennett died in a motorcycle crash near Pere Marquette Park. According to police, it involved a pickup truck, but it’s not clear what led up to the incident.
Bennett was married for 51 years. He had three children and eight grandchildren.
“A lot of growing from this young couple with these young kids to building this house and living a life that was amazing,” said Sherri Good, Bennett’s daughter.
In addition to serving his family, Bennett served the community.
Bennett came up through the ranks of United Association Local Union 154, eventually becoming a business manager. He oversaw the chapter’s merger with United Association Local Union 70 in 1999.
“He was a tireless advocate of working people, not only workers in our trade and the constructions trades but he always fought for people who work hard every day,” said Ryan Bennett, his son. “[He believed] they should be able to earn a living wage, they should have benefits, they should have some sort of retirement security, and it didn’t matter what they did for a living.”
Bennett’s goals eventually pushed him into local government where he served as a Muskegon County Commissioner.
In 2004, Bennett was elected to the Michigan State House to represent the 92nd District. He served for three terms.
“He said what he thought, and as somebody that needs to be or wants to be reelected, that’s pretty rare nowadays,” said Bennett. “He never viewed public service as a job. He did it because he honestly wanted to serve people.”
The family says while his crash was tragic, they take comfort in the impact he had on people. They hope people honor him by prioritizing the people in their lives.
“He embraced every day with a gusto that was just amazing to see,” said Good. “He just grabbed the most out of every day all his life and kind of made sure we did the same.”