Gary Bennett, 70, passed away peacefully at his home in Russell, Iowa, on June 4, 2023. A service will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will follow at the Confidence Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in Gary's name to the Grace Baptist Church Missions Fund.
Gary was a husband, father, son, brother, friend to many, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Gary was born June 16, 1952, in Centerville, Iowa. Gary received Jesus as his savior at a young age and was baptized at Confidence Baptist Church at eight years old.
Gary was blessed with a rich and fulfilling adolescence into adulthood. He was active during high school and enjoyed serving as a camp counselor. Following high school, Gary attended Iowa State University, majoring in animal science.
Though Gary desired to work with animals, God had a different path planned for his life. Following college graduation, Gary worked as a VoAg high school teacher. He then returned home to Wayne County and farmed with his father. Gary had a heart for missions and went on two summer missions trips to Japan. God used these experiences to call him into missions work, and he earned degrees from both Central Baptist Seminary and Kansas University.
Gary was appointed as a missionary to Japan in 1982. It was there that he met his wife, Yuki, and they were married in 1984. Gary and Yuki served as missionaries in Japan until 1991 when they were called back to Iowa. Gary then devoted his time to farming, bus driving, serving in church, and raising his four children. Gary and Yuki remained committed to outreach of the Gospel to Japan and opened their home in Iowa to over one hundred Japanese adults and students.
God led Gary and Yuki back to Japan in 2008. There Gary worked as an English teacher in numerous schools. He was also involved in a bridal ministry and officiated over five hundred weddings. Gary was always eager to share the gospel through the relationships he developed in Japan.
Gary and Yuki moved back to the United States in 2017. Gary stayed busy substitute teaching, bus driving, and remaining active in church and the community.
Gary had a mother, Mary; and five siblings: Vivian, Norma, Rody, Karen, and Ryan. His father, Roy, and step-father Charles, preceded him in glory.
Gary will be greatly missed by his wife, Yuki; children: Cynthia, Angela, Paul, and Flora; grandchildren: Aiden, Harrison, Judah, Kate, Levi, Brooks; along with his siblings, many nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends.