Surrounded by his loving family, R. Bennett Moreland, beloved and cherished son, brother, husband and father, died following emergency surgery on April 10, 2023, in Fort Myers, Fla. Bennett was born on Feb. 18, 1978, in Berlin, Vermont to Robert and Victoria Moreland. He was part of an aviation family with both parents in the airline business, so he grew up living in many different states but considered Austin, Texas to be one of his favorite places and his hometown to be Detroit.
Bennett traveled everywhere with his dad and mom – Europe, Mexico, England and throughout the U.S. – who encouraged him to be adventurous and curious. It worked – he was an amazing child – jumping a grade, receiving a perfect score on his English ACT and becoming the youngest pledge at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Eastern Michigan University. Bennett had a wonderful singing voice – with nearly perfect pitch – and was in a highly regarded show choir at Grosse Pointe South High School. You have never seen anything like him tap dancing in size 16 tap shoes, and his senior year solo was unforgettable.
Aviation was in Bennett’s blood. In high school he worked summers for Spirit Airlines in reservations at the original office on 8 Mile in Detroit. During college, he worked on the ramp for Spirit at Detroit Metro and then moved to Ft. Lauderdale, where the offices relocated, to work in the Operations Control Center. He continued with Spirit, returning to the Detroit office as the Manager of Fleet Planning in maintenance. When Spirit took a new course, Bennett joined the Lee County Port Authority at Southwest Florida International Airport as a dispatcher, which then led to him working as a supervisor in a maintenance control function. He was a problem solver, dedicated to his job, well respected and liked by everyone at the airport.
Bennett met Amanda, the love of his life, at the airport, and they were married on April 20, 2018. Her children, Jordan and Brennan, became his children and joined his son, Bobby Moreland, as the biggest joys of his life. When they were married, they vowed a love to infinity and beyond – a promise that will always remain.
Bennett loved so many things – his interests ranged from military history, to soccer, to WWE. He was a gifted writer and an accomplished speaker. He raced cars at Waterford Hills, one of the oldest racetracks in the U.S., and after he came to Florida continued to do that in the #53 Ford GT on Iracing. With his dad, he shared a love of baseball, especially the Detroit Tigers, and college football with the Michigan Wolverines and the Texas Longhorns.
Bennett was an amazing dad to Bobby, Jordan and Brennan and they will remember and miss him for the rest of their lives. He was there for his mom always, especially after his dad died, and she will cherish her memories and devotion for him forever. Amanda will carry his total love for her in her heart and do what he cannot do anymore.
He was predeceased by his dad, Bob Moreland, just 18 months ago, and his half-brother, QMC (SEAL) Ted Moreland, in service to his country, in December 1996. In addition to Amanda, Bobby, Jordan, Brennan and his mom, Vicki, he is survived by his half-brother J.P. Moreland (Mindy) of Melbourne Beach, Fla., his half-sister Amanda Moreland of Portland, Maine and Ted’s wife, Tracey Moreland of Fairlee, Vermont. He was “UB” to his nephew John-Paul Moreland and niece Christina Moreland. He also was loved and will be missed by his aunts and uncles and cousins on his mother’s side of the family.
There will be a visitation to say farewell and share your love and affection for Bennett on Friday, May 19, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Baldwin Brothers Funeral and Cremation, 4320 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Please stop by on your way home from work, give a hug to the family, share a funny story and then celebrate Bennett with a beer that night – he would have loved that.
Bennett, you were larger than life and although your time with those who loved you so much was far too short, you will live forever in our hearts. Rest in peace, sweet boy, until we are all together again.
I’ll miss you big guy, you’ve made an indelible impact on my life and the lives of may others.