Mrs. Bennie Jean Garnett was born on September 16, 1944, to the late Pinky Love Burns and Benjamin Burns in Augusta, Georgia. Bennie peacefully transitioned into Eternal Rest on April 18, 2022, at Lenox Hill Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Bennie was one of four children. She resided in Georgia, where she met and married the late Lucious Garnett Sr. In that union they had five children. By the late 60’s Lucious and Bennie relocated to New York City. She diligently raised her children with love and devotion and remained in New York City until her passing.
At 34 years old Bennie became a young grandmother to her first grandchild Lakesha. This is when the name “NANA” was signed, sealed, and delivered to her. Nana was the name that was branded by all her grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even people in the community began to call her Nana.
Bennie always had a heart for caring for others which lead her to studying nursing for several years at a local nursing institution in NY. She received her certification as a nursing assistant and worked numerous years at Presbyterian Hospital. Her nursing skills were not limited to the hospital, she also worked privately caring for patients in their homes.
Bennie “Nana” was a woman of many gifts and skills. She enjoyed cooking for her family and people in the community. Nana also sold weekly dinners in the neighborhood. Some of her most popular dishes were fried fish, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and of course her fried hot water cornbread. Her grandchildren often delivered some of the orders to many customers. Nana knew that food was the key to bringing people together. Therefore, she obtained her Food Vendor license and opened her long-life dream of a food truck called “Sweet Bee’s Kitchen”.
Nana’s gifts and skills also included a “green thumb”. This skill allowed her to have the unusual ability to grow any fruit or vegetable. She had a neighborhood garden that she tenaciously tended to. This garden won several city-wide awards in NYC. Nana humbly gave away the fruits and vegetables she grew without looking for anything in return.
Although Nana was a woman known to be a hard worker, she never avoided having a good time at her grandchildren’s cookouts, birthday parties, and baby showers. She loved dancing to some of her favorite artist such as: James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield Caribbean music and even Chris Brown. A walker or wheelchair did NOT stop her from “whining”.
Nana’s all-time favorite pleasure was traveling to Atlantic City or Empire Casino. She would take some of her winnings and treat herself and whomever accompanied her (usually Delbert, Lucious Jr, or one of her granddaughters) to a meal at her favorite restaurants. Nana would return home with the most jubilant expression on her face that lasted for days.
Bennie Jean “Nana” Garnett was preceded in death by her husband Lucious Sr., daughter Janice, granddaughter Talisha, brother Albert, and sister Cora.
To cherish her loving memories, she leaves to mourn her four surviving children Ferenda Garnett, Delbert Garnett, Lucious Jr. (Shannel) Garnett, and Ardell (Kim) Garnett. Sixteen grandchildren: Lakesha, Ambrose, Yasin, Delbert Jr, Sade, Najee, Tynajah, Amoni, Kwame, Daquan, Fantasia, Sherenda, Reakwon, Shane, Gail, and Javon. Eleven great-grandchildren, one brother Peter Burns; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and an array of friends.
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