CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Political officials and the Champaign community gathered Monday at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts to remember Senator Scott Bennett’s life.
Bennett died earlier this month due to complications of a brain tumor. The state senator was 45.
Speakers remembered Bennett as a dedicated public servant, and caring father and husband.
“In an era of soaring political egos and rhetoric, Scott proudly took a different path,” Senate President Don Harmon said. “Self-deprecating and disarming, his humor broke down barriers to find common ground that let his kindness and his intellect shine.”
Many government officials said Bennett was instrumental in motivating them to be the best they could be.
“Scott was great at pushing his friends to do things that they could do to get outside their comfort zone,” Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs said. “When it came for ABLE savings accounts. I felt my plate was full and Scott pushed me and said, you’ll make room and as a result, we now have tens of thousands of families saving money for their kids with disabilities, giving them a brighter future. And Senator Bennett deserves the lion’s share of the credit.”
Others admired his ability to work with both political parties.
“His ability to be a pleasant person to be around no matter who, who, who you were right, no matter whether you are Democrat, Republican, whether you are a moderate or more liberal,” Raoul said. “I got to know who Scott Bennett was not as a state senator, but just as a man.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker presented Bennett’s family with the state flag flown over the Capitol on the day he died.
“Scott touched our lives in a special way,” Pritzker said to his family. “And for many years to come, in some small way, we will get to return the favor. All of us will be a reminder of his light, his hope, and his love.”
The full livestream to Bennett’s memorial can be found here on our Facebook page.