Samuel Ralph Bennett (December 1942 – August 2023)

Samuel Ralph Bennett (December 1942 – August 2023)

Samuel Ralph Bennett, known by his loved ones as Sam, passed away on August 20, 2023 at the age of 80 in Fillmore, CA. Born on December 6, 1942 in Fillmore, Sam was hard-working and generous and deeply loved his family, friends and pets. He had a passion for WWII history, enjoyed watching classic movies and westerns on TV, and spent many fall Saturday afternoons engrossed in college football.

Sam is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sharon, his sons Sam Bennett Jr. (Paige), Donald Bennett (Lori), and Paul Bennett (Stephanie) and twin daughters Jamie Grossman (Dan) and Jennifer Klein (Bart). He is also survived by his step- daughters, Katherine Hadley (Dale) and Susan Herrmann (Ralph) and nephew Jonathon Zavala. Grandchildren AJ, Alyssa, April, Ashley, Branden, Cameron, Carsen, Eleanor, Emma, Hendrick, Kyle, Meghen, Paul, Samantha, Samuel, Sierra, Summer and Tim and several great grand-children, sisters Nancy Carrillo and Penny Zavala, and brothers Robert Kozar and John Kozar. Sam was preceded in death by his parents Ralph Bennett and Connie Kozar, grandparents Walker and Emma Legan, and brother Walker Kozar.

Sam was a life-long resident of the Santa Clara Valley and graduated from Fillmore High School in 1961. For over 50 years, he served as a General Contractor, Heavy Equipment Operator, and Business owner. Sam worked on numerous roads, development projects, ranches and public works throughout Ventura County and California. He also contracted with the U.S. Forest Service for over 30 years, fighting wildfires and assisting with emergencies. Sam felt lucky in that he found his true calling while learning to drive a tractor at the age of 6 while working on the family’s ranch. He never stopped working and continued to operate a tractor at the age of 80, a testament to his unwavering dedication and the joy he found in his work.

In his free time, Sam found joy in barbequing for his family and friends, driving around Fillmore and indulging in his love for high school and college football. He loved sharing stories of his life, growing up in Fillmore and reminiscing about the “good ole days”. He also enjoyed fishing at Gull Lake and finding solace in the Eastern Sierra.

Funeral services for Sam will be held on September 8, 2023 at 10:00am at Perez Family Funeral Home in Fillmore. A graveside service will follow at Bardsdale Cemetery, with a Celebration of Life to follow. In his memory, contributions can be made to the Fillmore High School Alumni Association and the St. Bonaventure High School Alumni Association, schools that held a special place in his heart. Special thanks to Becky, Cinnamon and Iliana at Greenfield Care Center for their wonderful care and kindness these past few months. We will forever be grateful.

Sam will be dearly missed by his family and friends.