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Alfred Bennett III

Obituary for Alfred Bennett III

February 18, 1957 - May 12, 2020
Holland, Michigan | Age 63

Obituary

Alfred E. Bennett III, age 63, of Holland, died Tuesday, May 12, 2020. A graveside service with military honors will be held in Ft. Custer National Cemetery at a later date.

The popular sitcom "Home Improvement" was in its final season in 1999 when I first met Alfred and fans of the show were upset that the series was coming to an end. It's at that point we quickly became referred to as the new Tim & Al.

Al and I worked together for a few years until new employment opportunities separated us and as time passed, our friendship deepened and soon we were spending a lot of time together working on everything from hunting blinds and pole barns to cabins in Hastings and car ports. It wasn't all work though.

Al introduced me to the sport of NASCAR if you can describe racing as a sport. At first, I had zero interest in racing however within a year or two, I knew many of the driver's names, car numbers and sponsors. Tragedy occurred on February 18, 2001 on the last lap of the Daytona 500 when Dale Earnhardt died. It was all we could talk about over the next few days and I was hooked. Al had attended several NASCAR races in the past and convinced me to attend a race with him. Over the next 20 years, we visited tracks and watched races at Michigan, Chicago, Indianapolis, Charlotte and Talladega. Those weekends are burned into my memory and will never be forgotten.

In 1999 my children ranged in age from 6 to 16 and Al became another uncle to them. As the kids grew, he attended their birthday parties, middle school and high school sports games, graduations and eventually weddings. He looked forward to each event and cheered, high fived, congratulated and hugged like an uncle would.

Saturday morning breakfast at Rock Island was on the schedule for many years until it shut down and we were forced to move to the Wooden Shoe. New servers had to be "trained" and quickly learned what each of us wanted for breakfast without asking.

Over the past year or two, Al's knee issues, diabetes and Crones disease really began to slow him down. I didn't realize how much. Perhaps I did know and refused to accept it. We were both so excited when the new VA hospital opened in Grand Rapids and we didn't need to make the drive to Ann Arbor anymore. I don't know how many trips we took to Ann Arbor over the years since he needed a driver after his procedures each time.

My phone rang late in the afternoon of May 12 and one of Al's co-workers asked if I had spoken with him over the last couple of days. I hadn't. I drove over to his home and seen his truck parked out front and I knew something wasn't right. I called several times….I pounded on the locked door….all was quiet. The only other option was to call 911. Deputies arrived, eventually gained access and here we are today writing condolences.

Alfred my brother, I did my best along with the help of my family in the days that followed. Your friendship and support to my family cannot be duplicated. I miss you.
Tim

Arrangements By

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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