Bennie H. Britt, Sr.

Published 2:01 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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BONAIRE, GA – Bennie Harold Britt, Sr., 70, passed away Thursday, January 12, 2023, at his home in Bonaire, Georgia.

He was born on June 22, 1952, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, to the late Harold and Bennie Jean (Martin) Britt, the oldest of five children. Bennie is a graduate of Northampton County High School and Wilson Technical Institute.

Two things really defined Bennie’s life: work and family. For him, the two intertwined from a very young age as he helped his father and grandfather on the farm, often leaving early from school to get to the field. Realizing that Bennie had a knack for mechanical problem solving, Harold often let Bennie tear apart and fix tractors or combines even before the age of 11. This later led him to enroll in Wilson Tech and finish top of his class.

While still in school, Bennie designed and oversaw the construction of the first ever Montgomery Ward Auto Service Center, located in Tarboro, NC, at the age of 19. Bennie was then recruited personally by Gregory Poole of Caterpillar for enrollment in their diesel program in Peoria, Illinois. Once finishing this program, he became the youngest field service mechanic in Caterpillar history, moving to Washington, NC. While at Caterpillar, he continued learning and teaching, becoming the youngest instructor at Caterpillar, often teaching mechanics that were two and three times his age.

Bennie left Caterpillar to work for Trader Construction Company in Aurora, NC as the lead mechanic overseeing all machinery used in the vast phosphate mining operation there. Following this, Bennie decided to move back home to Conway, NC so that he could be closer to and farm with family. This also allowed him to start and raise his family surrounded by the same land and family that had raised him. He farmed mainly peanuts with two of his brothers, Garry and Keith, and his dad, Harold. This full-time job was done concurrently while he had become the shop manager at Perdue Farms in Lewiston, NC.

In 1992, Bennie gave up farming, and he and his wife Pam moved to Perry, GA to once again be close to family and to shift his career toward auto sales. This reunited him with two of his brothers, Garry and Darrell. Bennie retired from car sales and dealership management roughly ten years ago to be able to spend more time with Pam as they often worked as merchandising retail reps for stores in the area.

With regards to his family and anyone who truly knew him; Bennie was a great son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather. He was well respected in every industry he was ever involved with. He was a kind and helpful neighbor in his neighborhood of 27 years. Bennie put his family first, sacrificing his life and time so that those around him and following him could reach for higher and have more. He instilled a sense of family and hard work in his children and taught them to be prepared for anything. He will be missed dearly every single day by more people than he would have ever believed. However, his legacy and lessons will live on in the hearts, heads, and actions of his children and grandchildren.

Bennie is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Pamela Leary Britt; son, Ben (Christy) Britt of Raleigh, North Carolina, and daughter, Tara Britt (Ryan) Mulhern of Bonaire, Georgia; grandchildren, Evelyn and Veronica Britt, and Rhett and Reagan Mulhern; brother Garry (Anne) Britt, and sister Claudine Britt (Matthew) Poe; two sisters-in-law Dee Britt (Tim) Bailey and Deborah Britt; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bennie was preceded in death by his parents and brothers William Harold Britt, Darrell Steven Britt, Sr, and Keith Franklin Britt, Sr.

A single verse from a song always reminds me of my father. Throughout his life, he was always a fighter. Not always winning, but willing to get up and fight another round either for someone he loved, or to set an example of how to pick yourself up off the mat one more time. The last verse of “The Boxer” written by Paul Simon represents Bennie in life.

In the clearing stands a boxer

And a fighter by his trade

And he carries the reminders

Of every glove that laid him down

or cut him

‘till he cried out in his anger and his shame

“I am leaving, I am leaving”

But the fighter still remains…

I love you Daddy.