JACKSON, Tenn. – Dec. 17, 2009 – Benny Fesmire, a friend and supporter of Union University, died Dec. 14 at the age of 76.
“Benny Fesmire was a long time and faithful supporter of Union University athletics,” said Union President David S. Dockery. “We give thanks for his kindness to this university and we offer gratitude for the memory of his friendship. We pray God's comfort and blessings for the Fesmire family at this time.”
Fesmire is survived by Norma, his wife of 56 years; daughter Terri; son Ben Jr., who graduated from Union in 1984; and five grandchildren, three of whom are former or current Union students.
A former member of Union’s Board of Trustees, he established the Fesmire Family Foundation in 2002 to support a variety of university programs.
The Fesmires were inducted into the first class of the Union Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 for their distinguished services to Union athletics. Because of generous donations that helped provide scholarships and fund facilities, the Fesmire name can be seen in several areas of campus.
In 2000, the new baseball and softball fields were dedicated and named Fesmire Fields. Union also dedicated Fesmire Fieldhouse in 2006. The 18,000-square-foot facility houses a 9,000-square-foot turf room, locker rooms and offices for baseball, softball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer.
“Benny Fesmire was a true philanthropist,” said Union Director of Athletic Operations Tommy Sadler. “He never sought recognition for his gifts that helped many worthy causes in the Jackson area. Our athletic program has been blessed beyond measure by Benny’s and Norma’s generosity.”
Fesmire was born and reared in Henderson County. He married Norma in 1953 and moved to Jackson the following year. After working in the banking industry, Fesmire built one of the most successful private businesses in Madison County.
The Fesmires first became connected with Union through their friendship with former Union coach and athletic director David Blackstock.
Visitation will be Dec. 17 from 4-7 p.m. at Arrington Funeral Home, 148 West University Parkway in Jackson. A funeral service will be conducted Dec. 18, but only immediate family members will attend.
By Steven Aldridge
Sports Information Director