Donald H. Bennett | Obituary

Donald H. Bennett, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and stepfather, passed away on December 15, 2022, after a valiant battle with prostate cancer.

Born on May 23, 1930, in Wahnapitae, Ontario, Canada, Don moved to Windsor before immigrating to the United States and joining the U.S. Army in June 1946, where he was assigned to the 15th Tank Company in Trieste, Italy. On February 11, 1956, Don married Patricia O’Brien of Detroit, MI, and the couple moved to Seattle, WA, where Don started Sales Training Inc (STI).

As his business acumen grew, Don was invited to join various service clubs, including the Seattle Rotary Club, the Rainier Club, and the Presidents’ Club within the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. In addition to STI, he also opened Video Training Centers in Seattle and Watches by Gosh stores in Issaquah, WA, and Coeur d’Alene, ID.

An avid outdoors athlete, Don lost his right leg in a boating accident in 1972.

Undeterred, he went on to teach amputee skiing for the Greater Seattle Ski School at Snoqualmie Pass. On July 18, 1982, he made history as the first amputee in the world to summit Mt. Rainier on crutches in his “Hop to the Top” effort.

Don and other disabled athletes competed in Bellingham’s Ski to Sea race as Team USAable. He also invited his ski buddies to play soccer on Mercer Island, leading to the creation of amputee soccer, which is now played in 60 countries under the World Amputee Futbol Federation (WAFF). Don attended the 2022 WAFF World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.

Don was preceded in death by his beloved wife Patricia and granddaughter Iris.

He is survived by his wife Carol Keller, his children Kathleen Pierson (spouse Steve), Brien Bennett (partner Jenna), Donn Bennett (spouse Betty), Brigid Rossolo (spouse Paul), Tim Bennett (spouse Subayda), Tom Bennett (spouse Heather), Matt Bennett (partner Michael), and grandchildren Chelsea, Hannah, Marc, Lena, and Michael. Don’s stepchildren include Darin Keller, Brian Keller (spouse Allison Hughes), Garet Keller (spouse Christina), and step grandchildren Ethan, CJ, Sonja, Ashley, Gavin, Skylar, and Colton.

Throughout his life, Don faced challenges with grace, determination, and positivity. He lived a life filled with love, motivation, and countless accomplishments, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

A small service for immediate family members only will be held to honor Don’s memory.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Amputee Soccer Association.