Monday, May 20, 2024

Bob Bennett, 86

| January 25, 2024 1:00 AM

Dr. Carl Robert Bennett, “Bob,” passed away peacefully Jan. 21 in his hometown of Burlington, Iowa. 

Bob was an educator for over 45 years as a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools and college president, where he pushed himself and others to be better; his optimism, smile and upbeat approach to life and learning made people believe that they could. Bob began his career in Iowa, teaching for 11 years before becoming a high school principal and school district superintendent. Bob completed his Ph.D. from Iowa State University, moving into higher education also in Iowa, where he became the Vice President of Instruction at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bob was President of three community colleges: Gogebic Community College in Michigan, North Idaho College in Idaho and Miles Community College in Montana. After retiring as President of Miles Community College, Bob was the director of the Human Rights Institute in Coeur d’Alene. Bob was passionate about education and he believed in its role in society and as a central means of improving one’s self. He was a lifelong learner. 

In addition to his life in education, Bob led a full personal life with many friends, students, colleagues and family who loved and admired him. He had a love of nature and animals and could be seen walking with one of his many dogs and chatting with those he met almost every day. His infectious smile, curiosity and love of conversation made him a welcome addition and many friends. Bob’s dedication to a life well lived, including exercise, good friends and seizing the moment inspired many.

Bob is survived by his three children, Lisa Hobson, Carl Robert Bennett (Bob), and Stephanie Bennett; his four grandchildren, Bennett Hobson, Carly Hamilton, Shane Fitzgerald and Hannah Bennett; his three great-grandchildren, Jackson Hamilton, Tal Hobson and Rose Fitzgerald and his two sisters, Sherry Kuster and Marty Grimshaw. His wife, Donna Bennett, preceded him in death. 

A celebration of life will be held for friends and family in May. The date and location will be announced soon. Visit:

Memorial gifts can be made to the C. Robert and Donna Bennett Memorial Scholarship through the North Idaho College Foundation, Inc. at 1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814, or securely online at: