Charlene M. Bennett, age 89, of Dodgeville, passed away on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Mel’s Haven following a long illness.

Born June 4, 1927 to Burke and Grace (Morrow) Looker at Viola, she joined three brothers, James, Russell and Ernest and a sister, Betty. At age five, Charlene moved with her family to farm at Liberty (outside Viola) where she grew up attending Plainview Elementary School. She graduated from Viola High School in 1945. In 1946, Charlene was married William Bennett of Muskegon, MI. Apart from three years in Michigan, the family, including sons, Martin and Jon lived and farmed in Richland County.

Following a series of traumatic events in her life, Charlene resumed her education and in 1981 settled in Dodgeville where she was employed as a Social Worker at Bloomfield Manor Nursing Facility. In 1982, she was ordained to the Christian Ministry, serving as Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dodgeville, the Waldwick United Methodist Church and later as Interim and Visitation Pastor of the Dodgeville United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Burke and Grace Looker; brothers, James, Russell and Ernest; her sister, Betty Walker and her former husband, William Bennett.

Charlene is survived by sons, Martin (Darla) Bennett of Richland Center and Jon (Candace) Bennett of Denver, CO; six grandchildren, Jennifer (Carl) Hamilton; Thad Bennett; Kara Bennett; Jeremy Bennett; Nichole (Jim) Six and Erin Ferola; 11 great grandchildren as well as nieces, nephews and many friends.

Funeral services will be held at 6:00 P.M. Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Dodgeville United Methodist Church followed by a luncheon. Pastor Jim Droste will officiate with burial in the Viola Cemetery at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday. Friends may call at the church on Monday after 2:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Dodgeville United Methodist Church or Upland Hills Hospice would be greatly appreciated.