Wes Berry Bennett III of Blackshear, Georgia died age 77 on September 3rd, 2021 at Satilla Hospice House due to a brief illness. He was born April 5th, 1944 in Screven, Georgia to parents Wes Berry Bennett Jr and Agatha Nettles. Married to Genie Ammons Bennett for 57 years.
Growing up, Wes attended Screven Schools playing baseball and basketball to average 27 points per game (before 3-pointers) his senior year of 1962. He received a basketball scholarship to South Georgia State College where he holds the record for the highest percentage of free-throws for two consecutive years. The trophy he received remains on display in the college gymnasium. Wes earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Georgia in 1966 and has a Specialist’s Degree from Valdosta State University.
After beginning his career in 1967 as assistant coach of basketball and football in Jones County High School, he was offered the head coaching position but chose to take that position at Blackshear High School in 1968. He coached boys and girls basketball, was assistant football and track coach, cheerleader sponsor and CVAE coordinator. Wes coached the first integrated basketball team in 1970, led the team to a 23-5 record winning the Region-2B title and was then named region’s Coach of the Year. After serving as assistant principal of Blackshear High School, he served as principal for 10 years. He started and coached the first golf team in Pierce County and is responsible for the Blackshear High School hosting the first State Golf Tournament in our area. At the time of consolidation in 1981, Wes was tapped to become Pierce County High School’s principal where he holds the longest tenure in the state of Georgia upon retirement in 1996. He facilitated the consolidation of Blackshear and Patterson High Schools for the branding of Pierce County Bears. He had an integral part in the building of the football and baseball fields and paving the school parking lot. After acquiring discarded bleachers from the Gator Bowl, he transported them with his 1961 corn truck to use for guests at Bear Stadium. Wes also served on the State of Georgia Discipline and Ethics Committee.
He retired as an avid golfer, sportsman, farmer and builder. Wes was the winner of area golf tournaments, and club championships of Lakeview and Okefenokee Golf Clubs. He was the five-time winner of the Okefenokee Invitational Tournament Senior Division and a three time winner of the National Father-Son Golf Tournament held at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Wes also won the 1999 Georgia 410 Dove Shooting Championship, televised on PBS. He was inducted into the 2002 Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame for his outstanding basketball performance and in the Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. He built residences in Pierce, Wayne, Appling and Glynn Counties and oversaw the building of Blackshear’s multi-story hotel.
He was a member of the Blackshear First United Methodist Church and attended Blackshear First Baptist Church.
Predeceased by his parents, his brother Ronnie, his sister Donnie. Survived by his wife Genie Bennett, his sons Ceb (Allison) Bennett and Ben (Neile) Bennett, his honorary daughter Stephanie (Bert) Byrd, his brother Joey Bennett, his sister Annette (Jim) Bennett, and his grandchildren Madi (Taylor) Sports, Gracie Bennett, Laine Bennett, Laura Kate Bennett, and Chase Bennett, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
As per his wishes, there will be no public services. Memorialization will be by cremation. The Bennett Family requests donations be made to Pierce County High School and Pierce County Middle School golf teams. Please help honor his memory.
Checks Payable to: Birdies for Bears
Payment can be made in the following ways:
Mail: Birdies for Bears, P.O. box 189 Blackshear, Ga 31516
PCHS PayPal: (add to note Birdies for Bears) http://PayPal.me/payPCHS
Delivered Cash or Check: Lakeview Golf Club, Okefenokee Country Club pro shops, BBJ Insurance and Primesouth Bank branches
Wes Bennett’s favorite quote:
“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wes Berry Bennett, III, please visit our floral store.