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Memorial gathering and hike for Jenny July 3, 2015

Posted by Jenny in Uncategorized.


Jenny Bennett in the Smokies

The Smoky Mountains Hiking club has announced the memorial hike for Jenny on September 13, 2015, on the Porters Creek Trail, with a potluck lunch time of fellowship and reflection at the Porters Creek Pavilion. Times and details will be announced as they are confirmed. Please watch the club’s website for further details: http://www.smhclub.org/

For those of you who have not already Googled “Jenny Bennett Smoky Mountains hiking”, here is a brief outline of what happened.

Jenny was planning on moving to Vermont to be closer to her sister Betsy at the beginning of June. She had packed most of her belongings and must have decided to make one last hike to her favorite area of the Smokies. She went up Porter’s Creek (setting for her first novel, Murder at the Jumpoff) and never returned.  It was about a week before her landlord went to the house she was renting and realized that she had never left. He called me (Peter) and we were both very concerned. A search was launched, her car was found at the Porter’s Creek trailhead, and her body was found the next morning.

Details of what actually happened to Jenny are unclear. The Park Service launched an investigation after her body was found, but they still don’t know everything. It is likely that we will never really know what happened. We do know that Jenny died in her favorite place in the world, the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

Peter Bennett


1. Dana Bee - July 5, 2015

So sorry for your loss. Knowing the details is not going to bring her back. Thanks for the updates. I plan to attend her memorial service. I am keeping tabs on the plans for that event. I think of her daily and miss her.

2. Andrew Sisson - July 8, 2015

Peter, So sorry for the loss of Jenny. I off trail hiked with her four times in the last few years. She was very good and knowledgeable in the mountains. It was her passion. I know that the other SMHC club members whom off trail hiked too will all miss her. She was a great person and I was fortunate to know her.

AJ Sisson,
Marietta, GA

3. Adam Brightman - July 21, 2015

Peter, I am very sorry for your loss. I got to know Jenny through Bob, and enjoyed a good many hikes with her all over New England and NY. I had been looking forward to re-connecting after her planned move to St. Johnsbury. She was a truly one of kind person, and I felt glad to call her my friend. I hope to travel from VT for the hike.
Adam Brightman
Cornwall, VT

4. Smoky Mountains Hiking Club - August 16, 2015

The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club will conduct a memorial hike for Jenny Bennett on Sunday, September 13, 2015, with a potluck lunch time of fellowship and reflection following at the Porters Creek Pavilion. Peter Bennett will be present.

Jenny’s good friends and former colleagues Stephanie Gott Seay, Steve Seay, and David Massey have planned a loving memorial which will touch on the many and varied facets of Jenny’s life. There will be opportunities for those gathered to talk about Jenny and offer their thoughts and stories. We hope to have music by James Carlson, who collaborated with Jenny for the music and poetry for the 75th anniversary of the GSMNP. Any offerings of art, poetry, pictures and music that commemorates Jenny are welcomed. There will be a bulletin board available for the posting of pictures and/or stories. You may also offer your stories about Jenny in written form for reading aloud by others. We want this to be a very special time in Jenny’s honor and memory.

We will gather at 2 PM at the Porters Creek trailhead and hike to the SMHC cabin to disperse Jenny’s cremains. We will return to the trailhead by 3:45 and move to the Greenbrier/Porters Creek Pavilion to begin the 4 PM picnic. Please bring a dish to share (which can be dropped off at the Pavilion prior to the hike). The SMHC will provide utensils and drinks. The celebration time of Jenny’s life will follow the picnic.

If you would like to carpool from Knoxville, please meet at the Comcast parking lot on Asheville Hwy. at 12:45 PM. Hike: ~3.5 miles round trip, rated easy. 90 miles x 8c = $7.20 as a suggested contribution to carpool drivers.

Directions: Take I-40 east to Exit 407, then TN-66 south to Sevierville. At traffic light #15, turn left on TN-448, to 0.5 mile and turn left on US-411. In 3.4 miles at a traffic light turn right on TN-416 and drive 15 miles to US-321. Turn right on US-321 and then in 0.3 mile left on Greenbrier Road. Drive 4.7 miles to Trailhead parking. The Greenbrier/Porters Creek Pavilion is on the right 1 mile before the Porter’s Creek trailhead.

Picnic coordinator: Cindy Spangler (spangler@utk.edu) and Memorial Service coordinator: Stephanie Seay (sgseay@gmail.com)

The event is open to the public, you do not need to be a member of the SMHC to attend. Save the date, and join with us in commemoration of the life of this remarkable woman.

5. Smoky Mountains Hiking Club - August 16, 2015

Jenny’s In Memoriam page on the SMHC website: http://www.smhclub.org/In%20Memoriam/Bennett.htm

6. Jarrett - August 31, 2015

I haven’t kept up with the blog all summer and just heard the new. I’m sorry for the loss.

7. eirikurh - April 17, 2016

Peter, I’m so sorry. I’ve been wondering why I’ve not been able to raise her on any of her email addresses. I’m terribly sorry I didn’t know and thus could not attend this event. I don’t believe we’ve met. I was her boyfriend for a while just after New College. We lived together in Cambridge for a while. While she was living in Massachusetts we saw each other fairly often. This is a blow.


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