We Remember

BENNETT, Russell James “RJ”

December 14, 1929 — July 4, 2024

Russell James “RJ” Bennett passed away peacefully on July 4th, 2024, in his home at Flying Horse Farm in West Kelowna, BC, at the age of 94.

He is survived by his wife Lois (née Underhill); children Andrew (Corlis), Mary-Jean (Stan), Murray, and Rosanne (Larry); grandchildren Keith and Justin (Keira), Dena and Sarah; and great-grandchildren Kinzlea, Braxtynn, and Piper.

RJ was born in Edmonton, AB, on December 14, 1929. He was very much a Kelowna man, as his family moved to Kelowna when he was nearly 2. RJ was the second child of W.A.C. and May Bennett, predeceased by his siblings Anita and Bill.

He married his wife Lois in 1961, raising 4 children at their Flying Horse Farm in West Kelowna. They first built their barn in 1965 before the family home a year later, which was not out of character for avid horse people. RJ was a very charismatic and social person who seemed to know everyone and if he didn’t know you personally, upon meeting him he still made a positive and lasting impression.

Over several decades, he maintained a very active social and business life through his company Victor Projects Ltd. of Kelowna, and the BC Thoroughbred racing and breeding community. “Mr. Bennett’s huge contribution to racing and breeding in British Columbia is almost impossible to quantify; although it is fair to say that his legacy, along with that of his wife and partner, Lois, will continue to filter through the sport for many years to come.”  – Horseracing BC.

Even as he slowed down in recent years, attending Rotary Club luncheon presentations once a week with his son Andrew was a highlight. At 94, he was still active, noting his ‘steps’ on his phone app, going for walks, and of course he had so many favourite quotes and sayings, notably “Don’t mistake luck for genius”.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

A Celebration of Life will be held on SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2024, at 1:00 PM (PDT), at SPRINGFIELD FUNERAL HOME, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC. If you are unable to attend in person, please join the family online by Livestream at the time of the service (see below), a recording will be made available to view shortly thereafter.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

LIVESTREAM:

Service
SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2024, at 1:00 PM (PDT)

Location
SPRINGFIELD FUNERAL HOME

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Kelowna General Hospital Foundation Link: www.kghfoundation.com

 


Service Information

Service Details


The service for BENNETT, Russell James “RJ” is scheduled for SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2024, at 1:00 PM (PDT). Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

SPRINGFIELD FUNERAL HOME

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC

Phone:


Special Requests:

None.


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Condolences

  • Alice Sherman says:

    Dear Lois and Family, just read about R.J.’s Passing, so sorry, you all have my Sympathy!! Boyd passed just about 3 years ago, and I still miss him Terribly, hope you are in good health!! Love Alice

  • Jean Klassen says:

    My sincere condolence to your family. I only met RJ and Lois once but was made very comfortable and welcome.. I am Tiffany’s mother. She married Steve Martindale 20 years ago in your beautiful garden.

  • Therese Washtock says:

    So many emotions stirred. I vividly remember watching RJ and Stockbroker so many years ago, at the PNE, as I attended by selling PNE programs for Pony Club! It was always a highlight to see them jump those huge jumps! He was an inspiration for me from the beginning. Once we moved to the Okanagan, I looked forward to meeting up with RJ and Lois, and then watching their children become great riders and horsemen. Over the years, I would interact with Lois and RJ over various horses (sometimes with Dr. M too) and horse incidents, along with the yearly catch ups at Chuck’s Christmas parties. It was also SO OBVIOUS, that family was always the priority, but in an equine entangled family.

    It is their greatest legacy, that they have imparted fundemental core values to their children. One could not help but notice through the way the kids have ridden, worked, and grown over the years. Please accept our condolences for your loss. Richard and Therese

  • Elaine Kopetski (Duff) says:

    RJ gave a lot of his time to give us kids jumping lessons. He was a fabulous horseman. He had some wonderful horses. Condolences to family and friends.

  • Tom, Val Vicars and families. says:

    Thinking of you all at this time of loss. We will always have fond and thankful memories of your father and husband. He allowed us a life style of happiness that helped shape our young family that are such a huge part of our life. ❤️. He was so much to so many. Cherish the memories. Hugs to all.

  • Angelica Moline says:

    I have fond memories of working at Flying Horse Farm as a teenager. I worked with Andrew and saw Lois daily. RJ was a busy man, but both RJ and Lois would be there any hour of the night when foals were born. He was always excited to see the new foal!
    My deepest condolences to the family.

  • Merlin Bunnage says:

    We were sad to hear the news of RJ’s passing. Our condolences to Lois and her family. We had the privilege to work for RJ and his family for 25 years. A kind man with wise words. We will miss his weekly visits for soup/sandwich and a chat.
    Kim and Merlin Bunnage Kelowna

  • Tom, Val Vicars and families. says:

    Thinking of you all at this time of loss. We have fond memories and thankfulness for the opportunity we were given by your father and husband. It helped shape the lives of our young family who are a huge part of our life. ❤️. He was so much to so many. Blessings to you Lois. Cherish the memories. Hugs to all.

  • Jim, Tricia & Helen Stewart and Family says:

    Our condolence to the Bennett family

  • Jim and Helene Doskocil says:

    We send our condolences to the family. We will Miss him when he came into Pointe Coffee clutches in his golf cart. He was very social able with us all

  • Brian Winter says:

    My sympathies to you all. You do not know me but I was just a boy with a horse that rode a long ways to the Kelowna Gymkhana`s. in the late sixties. to watch the events. Stockbroker and him would always clean house in the jumping events. It left a lasting impression on me.. Rest in Peace RJ and Stockbroker

  • Lauren Lypchuk says:

    My condolences to the Bennett family. Murray….may good memories be there for you. Xo Lauren

  • Gary Bennett says:

    To: Lois, Mary-Jean and Family
    So sad to hear about R.J. Bennett’s passing and our thoughts are with his Lois and his family. I considered him as a close friend who supported our community in a wide variety of ways with his quiet philanthropy. I met RJ through Rotary in 2001, and while we were not related, he often greeted me as ‘Cousin’. He had a wonderful sense of humour mixed with his home spun wisdom. He had a strong sense of our community’s history and had a myriad of stories to tell of its development. He was very proud of his family. We worked together on numerous volunteer projects, and he was always very supportive. He shall be missed and remembered.

  • Donald Glen Burnett says:

    Lois we are so saddened to hear of RJ’s passing. I spoke to him this spring when I was responding to an email you sent me regarding our mutual garden losses this past winter.. He was a dear man and I always felt a connection with him after hearing a story he told me of my Dad sitting him on a work horse while plowing his fathers garden and becoming hooked on those beautiful animals, My Dad’s old “Punch and Dolly” had nothing to “High Rigger” your famous thoroughbred. RIP RJ
    Picture is from a visit to the farm with my cousin Murray Haworth and Flo Murray and RJ were High school friends. Love from Don and Donna Burnett

  • Kelly Stoochnoff says:

    So saddened to hear of RJ’s passing. I have many a fond memory of watching him and Stockbroker at KRC and always appreciated what a good sport he was and the kindness he showed to us up and coming riders.. Our heartfelt condolences to the family during this time.
    Kelly Stoochnoff & Craig Lee

  • Brian and Michelle Einarson says:

    So sad to hear about RJ’s passing we send our condolences to the family. We always enjoyed his
    stories about growing up in West Kelowna and his humor brought many a smile .
    stories

  • John Phillips says:

    Dear Lois and family,
    News of RJ’s passing reached the horse country of central Kentucky with sadness. We will miss his visits. RJ had a great and long ride but his passing nonetheless leaves a void in the hearts of friends and family. Although we all grieve , we gratefully acknowledge our blessing for having experienced his life, his joy for horses and his loyalty to and love for mutual friends. To Lois and family our deepest sympathy.

  • Barbara Sloper says:

    Dear Lois, Andrew, Maryjane, Roseanne and Murray,
    Our condolences to you all with the loss of RJ.
    He was a huge supporter of the Equestrian Community. He helped set Show Jumping on fire in the Okanagan. He supported the KRC in so many ways.( I think his jump shed is still standing.. ) He always had a smile of encouragement for the up and coming riders. and was such a good sport in all of it..
    He will be missed by many.
    Jody and Jim Sloper

  • Tony Stewart says:

    My sincere condolences to the entire family.
    I had the honour to work with RJ over the years on a number of projects. He was always a pleasure to work with and a very astute businessman. He was always welcoming, generous with his time and a person I greatly admired. Lois, MJ, Murray, Rosanne and Andrew my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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