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Saturday, September 9, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
Jeffery Thomas Bennington, 55, Waynesville, passed away Aug. 14 from cancer, surrounded by his family.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 29 years, Amy Coffee Bennington; son, Jacob, 24; daughter, Haley, 22; and in-laws, Leo and Barbara Coffee of Waynesville. He was preceded in death by his mother, Myna Jane Bennington of Boca Raton, Florida.
Jeff was born April 30, 1968 in Boca Raton, Florida. He graduated from Boca Raton High School in 1986, where he excelled at baseball, playing all four years primarily as the varsity catcher.
From age 12-14 Jeff had a paper route that required him to rise early every morning and deliver the papers before school. Thus began his strong work ethic which carried him throughout his life.
He attended St Leo University in Florida on a full ride baseball scholarship. He graduated in 1990 with a degree in Sports Management.
After college Jeff signed with the Houston Astros farm league in Burlington, Iowa. He played with the team for two years before returning to work at Bucky Dent Baseball School, where he had attended as a teenager, working at the camp in exchange for his own participation. During the Major League Baseball strike in 1994, Jeff was called up to play catcher for the Montreal Expos Triple A team. When the strike ended, Jeff opted to leave professional baseball and started Bennington’s All Star Baseball School. Eventually Jeff left baseball altogether and became a successful Realtor.
Jeff and Amy were married Oct 22, 1994, on the Kathleen W. yacht on the intracoastal waterway in south Florida. In 2008 they moved to Western North Carolina, settling in Waynesville in 2009. Here Jeff worked as a medical sales representative until becoming Ski Patrol Director at Cataloochee Ski Area. Amy introduced Jeff to the sport of skiing in Banff, Canada, and he was instantly hooked. He taught both of his children to ski at age 3, and both went on to become competitive ski racers, instructors and ski patrollers.
Jeff was a gifted athlete and triathlete. He was an avid surfer, skier, golfer, and fisherman. He made friends wherever he went and loved to take on any new adventure that presented itself to him. He loved life, his family, and reminding everyone that "there’s no crying in baseball".
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.
Memorial contributions in Jeff’s name may be made to Little League Baseball (littleleague.org) or The Oral Cancer Foundation (oralcancerfoundation.org).
The care of Mr. Bennington has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.