James Benjamin “Benji” Fett

James Benjamin “Benji” Fett, 44, of Bonaparte, Iowa, passed away Friday, July 15, 2022, at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua, Iowa.


He was born April 4, 1978, in Keosauqua, Iowa, the son of Jimmy Ray and Janet (Haynes) Fett.


Survivors include his mother: Janet Fett; brother: Jeremy Fett; sister: JennaLee (Jesse) Short, all of Bonaparte, Iowa; brother: Jacob (Jacque) Fett of Hillsboro, Iowa; niece: Jacey Fett of Canton, Missouri; nephew: Jackson Fett of Mount Pleasant, Iowa; and nieces: Jaegan and Jaylee Short of Bonaparte, Iowa. Also, surviving are  several uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.


Benji was a 1996 graduate of Harmony High School. He attended Vatterott College, graduating in 1998. He worked at Barker Company, Stuke Plastics, and Agri Plastics. He enjoyed working and was disheartened when his health later prevented him from doing so. In hopes of returning to the workforce, Benji underwent extensive brain surgery to improve his epilepsy. The operation was not completely successful and resulted in a brain injury. But still, he persevered while relearning to walk, talk, and do everyday tasks.


He loved nature and wildlife, enjoyed taking walks, and hunting and fishing when he was able. In 2018, he was diagnosed with a genetic disease, Pulmonary Hypertension. This made doing his favorite things hard and some days impossible. Still, he never lost his faith in God or humanity. He prayed daily for others. He was a true gentle giant that wasn’t afraid to express his feelings for those close to him, often giving backbreaking hugs, kisses, and saying “I love you”.


In his youth, he played baseball and was an excellent pitcher. He was a lifelong Cubs fan, watching them on TV and taking in a few games in person. He was able to visit the Field of Dreams and had hoped to visit again this year, health permitting.


He loved his family and friends the most though. He was always up for babysitting his little sister and younger cousins. He had the great pleasure of taking care of his niece and nephew for a few years. He was a jokester and just wanted to make people smile and laugh. He was a friend to everyone he met. Classmates remember his goofy nature and big smile. He was their prom king.


He was preceded in death by his father: Jim; sister-in-law: Oralia Fett (whom he loved to tease); grandparents: Carole Jean and John Haynes; cousins: Zachary and Jonathan Batten, and his best friend: Adam Richardson.


His body has been entrusted to the crematory of Schmitz Funeral Home for cremation, after donating his organs.


The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  on Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Schmitz Funeral Home in Farmington.


A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 21, 2022, at Schmitz Funeral Home with Pastor Mark Caston officiating.


In true Benji fashion, we ask that no one feel the need to dress up. A t-shirt and shorts are completely acceptable. Better yet, a Hawaiian shirt as he sure did love him some Jimmy Buffett.


Burial of his cremains will be at a later date.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory and can be mailed to the family at: JennaLee Short, P.O. Box 244, Bonaparte, Iowa 52620.


Online condolences may be made to the family at www.schmitzfuneralhomes.com Schmitz Funeral Home of Farmington is assisting the family with arrangements.

“See you on the other side.” –  Benji