Doris Marie (Taylor) Bennett was born November 28, 1933, in Newton, Kansas to Earl L. Taylor and Cassie L. (Jackson) Taylor. She was preceded in death by her parents and seven siblings.
She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1950 a year early because of her advanced scholastic abilities. At Lincoln she was a member of the Student Council and Spanish Club and Secretary of the senior class. In later years she attended accounting classes at Kansas City Junior College.
Doris married her high school sweetheart, Lawrence D. Bennett, on October 7, 1951. They later celebrated the birth of two daughters, Angela and Renee. During her career in government service she worked for the Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration, and Social Security Administration. She retired from the Social Security Administration as a Benefits Authorizer.
She and Lawrence were two of the founding members of Cleveland Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church which later became St. James United Methodist where she sang in the choir, was a member of the Board of Trustees, Pastor Parish Relations Committee, Young Adults Ministry, and Chair of the Church Council. In 1982 she transferred her membership to Centennial United Methodist Church where she served as Financial Secretary, a member of the Finance Committee, and Co-Chair of Women's Day. She was the recipient of the United Methodist Women's Mission Pin which is given to an outstanding member of the organization to acknowledge that individual's support of mission projects and other contributions to the organization. In addition to her activities at Centennial, Doris was a major contributor to various building projects at Centennial including purchasing the curtains for Memory Hall, and couches for the breezeway. She believed in stewardship and made a significant monetary donation for the repair of Centennial's roof. She was also a donor to many not-for-profit organizations. One of her favorite charities was the Mayor's Christmas Tree because as a child there were Christmases that the only toy she received was the one provided by that fund.
Mrs. Bennett was a strong advocate for human rights. She and her husband Lawrence helped register people to vote, attended civil rights rallies, and went door to door to obtain signatures to place the Kansas City public accommodations ordinance on the ballot to provide equal access to public establishments such as hotels and restaurants. Thanks to their hard work the ordinance passed.
Doris selflessly gave of her time, support, and treasures to members of both sides of her family. She was often considered the second mother to her younger siblings and helped and encouraged them in numerous ways. She adored and took great pride in her grandson Jon Bennett Gray and delighted in watching her great-grandson Elliott Gray grow. She was not an athletic person except for playing hopscotch or jumping rope with her girls, and playing catch with Jon, but she and Lawrence could "cut a rug" dancing at home or at parties. She had a quiet and pleasant demeanor, but she could be forceful in the appropriate situations.
Doris passed away May 31, 2023.
She leaves to cherish her memory daughters Angela Bennett, Renee Bennett, grandson Jon Bennett Gray (Hailey), great-grandson Elliott Gray; nieces Pamela Johnson, Veretha Tally, Diane Hawkins, Robin Dantzler, Staci Alexander, Quida Taylor; nephews Reginald Johnson, Ronald Johnson, Donald Johnson, Rodney Alexander, Henry Marks, Jr., Craig Taylor; sister-in-law Joan Taylor; cousins Dr. Oneita Taylor, Reela (Taylor) Smart, Tessa Jackson, Sheila (Taylor) Edwards; close friends June Lawson and Raimonda Davis, as well as a host of and great nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 9-11AM, with services to follow at 11AM, Thursday, June 8 at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1834 Woodland Ave., Kansas City, Missouri; burial in Forest Hill Cemetery.