Jenna Bennett

Born: Guelph, Ontario on 08 May 2009

Passed away: Rockwood, Ontario on 02 May 2016

Aged: 6 years, 11 months

Service Details

There will be a private family service to say goodbye to Jenna at Rockwood Conservation Area. This beautiful park was one of Jenna's favourite places to explore, play and hike. Her life will be celebrated at Rockwood Centennial Public School on Monday, May 9th, with family, friends, and neighbours at 4:30 pm.

Funeral Company

Gilbert MacIntyre and Son

The Story

May 2, 2017
Today marks one year since our precious daughter and sister was taken from us. It should be just another day, with Jenna preparing for school and getting excited about her upcoming birthday. Instead, we have only pictures and memories to comfort and remind us of her beauty and spirit. And while we will mark today's date, we will, as a family celebrate Jenna's birthday on May 8. That is the date we were given a precious gift, fleeting though it was. We love you, Jenna. Forever in our hearts.

Update... Jenna's playground has become a reality. Our family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues generously donated over $25,000 to help build and install a fitting memorial to our daughter. We were overwhelmed by how quickly everything fell into place. Jenna's mom, Yvonne, Mrs. Darling, and Mrs. Doering of Rockwood Centennial chose a wonderful design. The playground was constructed in time for the children of Rockwood Centennial to play on the first day of school.

On Thursday, October 6, 2016, children from kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2, gathered to cut a ribbon and formally celebrate the opening of Jenna's playground. These were the children Jenna knew and played with during her time at Rockwood Centennial. There was a ribbon cutting, refreshments, and a release of balloons. Jenna's brother Aidan donated sand toys for the playground. As always, the school helped organize a beautiful ceremony. And best of all, the children played and played and played.

May, 2016. Jenna Bennett grew up as a free spirit in Rockwood, Ontario. She was a beautiful, vibrant child, who loved horses, swimming, school, stories and family in equal measure. She was growing up as a normal girl who loved to torment her big brother and father. All of that changed when Jenna was diagnosed with metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) a rare, neurological disease, at the age of five. This progressive disease conspired to rob Jenna of her most basic abilities such as movement and speech, while also attacking her intellect.

Despite being accepted into a medical trial which took the family to Milan, Italy, for five months of gene therapy, Jenna's condition continued to worsen. Family, friends, educators, and medical professionals contributed their time, energy and love to try to maximize Jenna's quality of life under very trying circumstances. She never lost her love of life or sense of humour, despite the ravages of the disease. Jenna finally succumbed to MLD on May 2nd, less than a week shy of her seventh birthday, surrounded by her small but loving family. Jenna's spirit was unbowed throughout her illness, and we are grateful she is finally free of pain.

We are raising funds in Jenna's memory to build and install playground equipment for the kindergarten children of Rockwood Centennial Public School. This was a vision Jenna shared with her mother when she was still able to speak. From Ontario to Maine, Jenna sought out playgrounds for the pure joy of climbing, sliding, balancing and having fun. We can think of nothing that would please her more than helping other children to do the same.

There are a number of ways to contribute:
1. Donations may be made in person at the Rockwood branch of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Cheques should be made out to the "Jenna Playground Fund".
2. For the online donations please visit the Jenna Bennett Memorial Playground Fund page. There is a link below.
3. Donations may be dropped off at Rockwood Centennial School anytime, or at the Celebration of Jenna's life on Monday, May 9th, 4:30, also at the school.
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Dear Yvonne, I was so very happy to see you today (4/21/17) at the Y, and I hope to see you again soon. Thank you so much for directing me to the heartwarming tribute for your beautiful Jenna… a darling little girl whose big, blue eyes could light up the world. The joy on her face as she swam with Craig at the Y was always a beautiful sight to behold. Your loss is unfathomable. It takes a strong woman to be a mother, and an even stronger woman to be a grieving mother. Please know that you, Craig and Aidan are in my heart and thoughts, and I hope that your cherished memories of Jenna may help ease your heartache.

Karen Donaghey


Words are not adequate to express the loss of such loveliness. I did not know Jenna, but was captivated by her young life and her family's desire to bring joy to the lives of other young children. Truly commendable endeavor.. Please take solace knowing that God!too, feels your pain as well. 1 Peter 5:7:.

Donna G


Jenna's playful spirit will live on as each child climbs, slides and laughs in her playground.

Dawna Rutledge


Your pain is in my heart.May you find comfort in Revelation21:3,4-“and death will be no more......” .You are in my prayers.

lil rose


Jana Cecchetti


Dear Mr. Bennett, I am deeply sorry for your loss. No one should have to deal with the loss of a loved one let alone their young child. Although I did not know Jenna it is obvious that she was an amazingly beautiful girl who is loved by many. John 5:28,29 read "Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life.." It's encouraging to know that God promises us a time when he will resurrect those who have been lost in death, and that the pain you feel now is only temporary. I wish you and your family the best as you continue to cope with your loss.

sarah smith


I never got the chance to meet Jenna, but the stories and pictures of her bring this poem to mind.... Butterfly Laughter by Katherine Mansfield In the middle of our porridge plates There was a blue butterfly painted And each morning we tried who should reach the butterfly first. Then the Grandmother said: "Do not eat the poor butterfly." That made us laugh. Always she said it and always it started us laughing. It seemed such a sweet little joke. I was certain that one fine morning The butterfly would fly out of our plates, Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world, And perch on the Grandmother's lap. Hoping your loss and pain is made bearable by the many happy memories......of Jenna's giggles, and jokes, and those amazing blue eyes! Karin Persoon

Karin Persoon


We are so saddened to hear of Jenna passing. Our thoughts are with your family. Sending you much love. The Italian friends Cinzia, Attilio, Laura, Silvio, Federico, Moreno, Luciano

Laura Ravasi


There are two memories I would like to share. The first is of our daughters, Jenna and Justine, playing princess dress up together. Hearing them talk and laugh together was delightful. They were kindred spirits in their love of all things frilly and sparkly. The second memory to share, is how I will always remember Jenna. She looked at me one day with a twinkle in her big blue eyes and a mischievous grin on her face and asked me "Barb, do you know where cows go when they're on a date?" "No, where do they go?" I replied. Her whole face lit up as she said "To the moooovies!" Then she and I both burst out laughing. I think she liked my response because she told me that joke at least 3 times that day, and her excitement and joy at the joke made me laugh every time. Her beautiful face shining with laughter is how I will remember her. Craig, Yvonne, and Aiden, we know there is nothing we can say to take your pain away. But as you grieve please know that you are not alone. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Barbara, Mark and Justine

Barbara Pimento


Yvonne, Craig and Aiden Fran and I were very saddened to hear of Jenna’s passing. Even though we did not know her well, we felt that Jenna was someone who really lived every day to the fullest and loved her family. While we know that words are only a small gesture of support, we wanted you all to know that Jenna’s spirit has touched many people’s lives and she will live in their memories for ever. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Fran and Ken Stewart

Kenneth Stewart