Josephine Bennett Dawkins
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"Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come". ~Proverbs 31:25
Josephine Bennett Dawkins, a native resident of Zachary, Louisiana and longtime resident of Meriden CT, was born on July 27, 1938, to the union of the late Marion and Patience Shanklin Bennett. She earned her heavenly wings on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in Hartford, CT.
Josephine, affectionately known as "Mary Jo", "Girl" and "Sister Baby", was reared in a Christian home and accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age. She was baptized at Philadelphia Baptist Church by the late Pastor C.N. Burrell.
Josephine graduated from Chaneyville High School in 1957, where she was a member of the Louisiana State Championship Basketball Team and an energetic participant in ballet. She earned her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Grambling State University, where she was a majorette with the marching band.
Josephine began her career as a substitute teacher, later employed with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, and retired after 51 years of service with the City of Meriden / Meriden Police Department. She was an active member on the Executive Board of the Meriden/Wallingford Branch of the NAACP. She volunteered at the Meriden Community Action Agency, and was an Assistant Youth Basketball Coach with the Inner City Athletic Association. She was also a double-dutch competition coach and judge at the local, state, and national level for the American Double Dutch League. She loved horses, particularly Appaloosas. She cherished the memory of her very own named Lady. Her hobbies included collecting All God's Children figurines and other African American memorabilia. She also collected bells and was a word-find and crossword puzzle enthusiast.
Josephine was one of the passionate voices for equity during the civil rights movement. She kept abreast of current events and always engaged in a robust discussion.
Josephine leaves to cherish her memory, her husband, John E. Dawkins; their two children, Todd D. Dawkins (Mayra) and Dwyane B. Dawkins (Heather); four grandchildren, Kirsten Dawkins, Kamrin Dawkins, Dylan Dawkins, and Estelle Dawkins; five step-grandchildren, Lissette, Leslie, Angelica, Jennica, and Kaden; two brothers, Edward Bennett, Sr. (Jennifer) of Plaquemine, LA and Huey Bennett, Sr. of Rocky Hill, CT; brother-in-law, Russell McFadden (Jeanetta) of Middletown, CT; sisters-in-law, Edna Bennett of Zachary, LA, and Dolores McFadden of Middletown, CT; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.
Josephine was preceded in death by her parents Marion and Patience Shanklin Bennett; brothers, Sterling "Son" Bennett and Johnny Lee "Skeet " "Honeyman" Bennett, Sr.; and sister, Celia Mae "Nick" Bennett-Jackson.
A celebration of life will take place Friday, May 6, 2022 at 1:00 PM at Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church, 84 Franklin St, Meriden, CT 06450. Friends may call Friday at the church from 12:00 - 1:00 PM. Interment will be at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Meriden. Services by Howard K. Hill Funeral Services, 1287 Chapel St, New Haven, CT. To leave a message of comfort for the Dawkins family, and to access livestream services at 1:00 PM, please visit, www.hkhfuneralservices.com