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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 21, 2024
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Remembering Greg Bennerson

June 18, 2006 — Lt. Greg Bennerson was the rarest of persons — a genuinely good guy. He cared about people to the point of neglecting his own well-being.
I remember being furious at him for returning to work at the Legislature shortly after severely injuring his leg. Looking at the sessions and meetings on television, I could tell he was in a tremendous amount of discomfort. When I implored him to take some time off to heal, he just looked at me and said, "They (the people) need me there."
He ended his tenure in the Senate with a slight, though permanent, limp, a perfect attendance record and the unqualified respect of his colleagues – if not the understanding of his constituents regarding his efforts.
Those blessed to have known Greg understood the well from which he drew his unerring commitment to the people of the Virgin Islands. His vision was far reaching, yet he was deeply rooted in the soil of the Virgin Islands, specifically that of St. Croix.
He immersed himself fully in V.I. culture and reveled in its diversity, its music, and yes, its food.
If you never sat and shared a meal with Greg, then you really didn't know him. Greg was a man that enjoyed life to the fullest extent and debating over a meal was a big part of his personal pleasure principle. In fact, I can't recall ever eating with Greg when he didn't declare that it was the best he'd ever had.
Bertolt Brecht once remarked that death should not be feared as much as the inadequate life. If anyone typified this for me, it was Greg Bennerson. He never let his medical condition set the parameters under which he lived his life.
He refused to use it as an excuse for not giving his best – all the time, every time.
Far from being inadequate, his zeal for life, his unabashed
affection for people and his continued quest for personal excellence provided a beacon for us all.
I'll miss his dry wit, his candor and his way of seeing the best in almost everyone. But in the end, like everyone else, I'll miss his friendship the most.
Rest well, good buddy.

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