Cover photo for Avis Bennett's Obituary
Avis Bennett Profile Photo

Avis Bennett

d. February 12, 2024

Farmington, NH – In Loving Memory of Avis Bennett

Avis Bennett’s courageous battle against pancreatic cancer came to an end on Monday, February 12, 2024. Avis was born in Orange City, Iowa, to Marion and Harriet Jean Andringa. Her life’s journey was marked by resilience, compassion, and an unwavering dedication to her family, her passions, and her advocacy.

Avis faced early adversity with the loss of her mother at the tender age of 12. This experience instilled in her a profound desire to make a difference in the lives of others, particularly children. Her determination led her to a life dedicated to working with , and for the betterment of , children. This resolve was most easily seen in her dedication to her three boys, Jordan, Jon and James ; as well as to her grandchildren , whom she was always available for whenever they needed her.

In the summer of 1974, Avis met the love of her life, Mark. Their love story blossomed over two years, culminating in marriage after her graduation from Dordt University. Together, they embarked on a journey that took them up and down the east coast as Mark served in the Navy, ultimately settling in Dover, New Hampshire after Mark’s service.

Tragically, Avis experienced the devastating loss of her daughter, Heather, due to medical negligence. This loss fueled her activism, propelling her to advocate for the establishment of a National Practitioner database, ensuring greater accountability in medical care.

Avis’s professional journey took her through various roles, from Christian Education Director to her own practice specializing in play therapy for children and families.  Despite battling breast cancer twice and discovering she carried the BRCA gene, predisposing her to further cancers, Avis remained resilient and determined to live life to the fullest.

Retirement opened the doors to new adventures for Avis and Mark, as they traveled the world together, documenting their journeys through Avis’s insightful blogs. This also afforded her more time to spend with her grandchildren as well. Even in the face of pancreatic cancer, Avis’s spirit remained indomitable, and she used her experiences to inspire and uplift others undergoing similar challenges.

Avis leaves behind a legacy of love, compassion, and advocacy. She is survived by her husband of 47 years Mark Bennett, Three Sons James (Renee) of Lee, NH, Jonathon of Farmington, NH Jordan (Sherrie) of Yorktown, VA , two brothers Dale (Mary) Andringa of Mitchellville IA, John (Kathy) Andringa of Sheboygan WI. nine grandchildren Kayla, Taylor, Haley, Irie, Sophia, Faith, Solomon, Everett and Remington. four step brothers, Evan (Jill) Visser of Venice, Florida; Tim Visser of Englewood, Colorado; Jeff (Cathy) Visser of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Mark (Carrie) Visser of Lynden, Washington; two step brothers-in-law, Larry Ribbens (Cornie) of Pella IA and Mark Kauk (Melissa) of Orange City and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her daughter Heather Sarah Jean Bennett and her parents. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her stepmother, Alma Andringa; and two stepsisters, JoEllen Kauk and Paula Ribbens

Avis Bennett’s impact on those around her will forever be remembered and cherished. Her life serves as a testament to the power of resilience, compassion, and the enduring strength of the human spirit. May her memory be a blessing and may she rest in eternal peace. A celebration of life is planned for the spring of 2024.

In leu of flowers, and in keeping with Avis’s desire to help those less fortunate, consider giving to:

First Church Congregational

United Church of Christ Food Pantry

63 South Main St

Rochester, NH 03867-2707


Or a Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen near you

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Avis Bennett, please visit our flower store.


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