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Obituary: Harm Bennink

Harm John Bennink Sr. left his worldly home and ascended to his eternal home on August 19th, 2021. During his final days, he was surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.

Harm was born December 12, 1937 in Keweenaw Bay, MI, son of Garrett and Lila (Pirkola) Bennink. In 1955 Harm graduated from Baraga High School. He entered the U.S. Army in 1960 and later transferred to the Army National Guard. Harm married the former Dianne Brogan on October 19, 1963 in L’Anse, MI. Harm worked many jobs in his life to support his family. He began at Pettibone, then worked for Celotex, then was a driver for UPS for many years and finally was a guard at the Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility until his retirement.

Harm was a true outdoorsmen and farmer at heart. He loved spending his days out on his family farm, out on the tractor, fishing, hunting, skeet shooting and kayaking down the Sturgeon. When he wasn’t on the farm, you may find him out on the golf course or at home watching the weather with a newspaper in hand. You may also have seen him at the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club where he volunteered often and was a hunter’s safety instructor. Harm enjoyed the simple things in life and taught his family to do the same. Through example, he taught his children kindness, how to love and how to live. A member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and his family did the same.

Harm enjoyed traveling to different states with his wife Dianne. He especially enjoyed playing different golf courses with her as they traveled. One of his favorite courses was the Robert Treat Jones course in Alabama. Another fun trip they enjoyed together was to Myrtle Beach, SC. They often golfed in the San Antonio area, since they enjoyed even more than golf, playing with their grandchildren and great grandchildren that all lived in the San Antonio area. As a member of the L’Anse Golf Club, you would also often find him close to home on that golf course.

He was the best father any child could hope for, his love for us was infinite. Always by our side in times of joy or sorrow, a broad shoulder to lean on. His beautiful hazel eyes spoke to us more than words ever could. With just a glimpse we could see exactly how we made him feel. Eyes filled with wonderful joy, pride, compassion, and unconditional love. Eyes full of empathy, understanding our grief or sadness. Eyes also full of reassurance, promising he would always be there to see us through hard times and there to celebrate the great times. How much we will miss looking up into those hazel eyes.

His handsome smile, highlighted by a prominent clef in his chin, was unforgettable and brought happiness to anyone who saw it. Not one to really crack a joke but possessing an incredible sense of humor, he was the best audience to crack a joke to. Breaking out into boisterous laughter, no joke would die in silent shame. Often as children we’d find him watching Wylie Coyote, giggling like a child. We can still see and hear him now. We are so grateful for the multitude of happy memories we have of him.

Known as “Grandpa B” to his grandchildren and great grandchildren, they shared his love for the family farm. When one of the great grandkids was asked, “what’s your favorite memory of Grandpa B?”, she answered immediately, “the time I caught a bigger fish than him at the farm!” (She was 4 at the time.) He liked to spoil the girls and served them milk and snacks using the best china so they would feel like princesses. He taught his grandson to work on cars, to appreciate the craftmanship of guns and to embrace an adventurous spirit for the great outdoors. They all said he gave the best hugs, so tall and strong, one couldn’t wish for a greater embrace. Everyone will miss those warm and loving hugs.

Preceding Harm in death was his mother and father, his brother Harold, and his twin brother Otto.

Surviving Harm is his wife Dianne Bennink of Baraga; children, Pamela (Jess) Pilgrim of San Antonio, TX, Angela Bennink of San Antonio, TX, Harm (Kelly Correa) Bennink Jr of Baraga; grandchildren, Kahlie (Cody) Kitchen, Shannon Pilgrim, Garrett Bennink, Zoey Bennink, Sophia Bennink; great grandchildren, Rylee Kitchen, Case Kitchen, Kylee Bennink; sisters, Joyce Zipse of L’Anse, Priscilla (Fred) Sliger of Trout Creek; Janet (Joe) Brisson of Baraga.

Until we meet again, we love you and will miss you every day.

The visitation will be held from 10 am to 12 pm followed by the service at 12 pm. A luncheon will follow the service starting at 1 pm. Everything will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Baraga on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Friends may sign Harm’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com.

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