James John Bennie
James John Bennie ("John" to his California friends, and "Jimmy" to his childhood friends), of Guerneville, California passed away peacefully on August 13th, 2019 in his home, surrounded by love. John was born in Toronto, Canada, on May 31st, 1954, graduated from Ferndale High School, and received his hair-stylist training at the Virginia Farrell Beauty School in Ferndale, Michigan.
Friends and family know him best for his infectious smile, a wicked sense of humor, a zest for life, and his incredible generosity. He was a true gentleman to his many medical professionals and friends throughout his long battle with illness. John was a Gemini to the core and known for all things fun and whimsical! He loved to travel and lived his life to the fullest - big, bold, and full of adventure! He loved to tease us all and had such a sassy sense of humor. While he was no angel, and sometimes known to be obstinate (with a flair of temper!), there was no limit to his care and compassion for others. He was genuine, unapologetic, and authentic! He shared his beautiful red hair with his mother, Marion (who he affectionately called "Marnie") and inherited her gorgeous style and grace! He was truly unique - a man who was adored by so many!
John was always willing to help others and worked hard all his life. He was a magician in the world of beauty - a hairstylist for local Guerneville friends and San Franciso celebrities! He starred in product training and sales at West Coast Beauty Supply - salon owners and stylists adored him. He brought his dog, Lisa, along with him on salon sales calls before she crossed over the rainbow bridge years ago. John was an animal lover all of his life and would spend hours at the Ferndale, Michigan pet store, B'wana Don's. As a teenager, they made him an honorary employee who got paid in reptiles and fish! He cared for so many animals over his lifetime - from rescue cats and dogs to exotic birds, ferrets, snakes, a crow, and even a pet skunk! He was an avid fisherman and excelled in creative projects, including arts and crafts and beautiful floral designs.
John loved natural beauty! He was most at home among the majestic Redwood trees, sitting on the patio admiring his Koi pond while enjoying the peaceful Russian River Valley. The community that embraced John in Guerneville is an incredible mixture of kind souls - always willing to help one another in times of crisis. From flooding to fires, Sonoma County comes together in a beautiful way to lift others up. When it came to volunteering to help others, John could always be counted on. He was a kind and compassionate neighbor and cared deeply. He volunteered to raise funds for Sonoma Pride and never hesitated to give his time and love.
With John, you always had a wonderful time - he never met a stranger! John's personality was larger than life, and we know he's up in Heaven with his beloved sister, Miss "Susie Q," his dear friend Ernest, and all of the friends and family who've passed before him. He's probably up in Heaven organizing Disco night - he'll get everyone out on the dance floor! "Jimmy" is now free.
Rest in peace, John. You'll always be in our hearts!
John is predeceased by his father John Harold Allen Bennie ("Jack"), stepfather Leslie Lawrence Loll ("Les"), and sister Susan Diane (Bennie) Rogers-Bagazinski ("Susie"). He is survived by his mother, Marion Joyce (Warren) Loll, brother, Jeffrey Lawrence Loll, niece, Selena (Rogers) Silvestro (husband Paul Silvestro and great-nephews Nathan and Kyle Silvestro), step Mother Loni Bennie, half-siblings Paul Bennie and Rebecca Bennie Wasson, as well as his beloved Aunt Doris Loll, and cousins DeAnne Loll, David Loll, Debbie Loll Torok, and Pamela Elwood. John's closest friends were like family, especially during his long battle with cancer. He had a wide network of Russian River friends and clients who fell in love with him when he joined the Guerneville community in 1990.
At John’s request, his ashes were spread in Hawaii (on January 9th, 2020 - at the south end of Puako on the Big Island.)
Aloha, John! You are dearly missed!
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.