Sharon Bennett passes

Sharon BennettBluegrass lovers in Washington State are mourning the loss of one of their own, Marjorie Sharon Bennett, who passed away on August 6. She was 74 years of age.

Sharon was a co-founder of the Washington Bluegrass Association, where she remained as a lifetime member since 1982. Anyone who attended their events, or the annual Darrington Bluegrass Festival, will remember her lively MC work, her welcoming manner, and her passionate love for the music.

Over the many years, Sharon hosted most of the bluegrass greats in her home when they were traveling through the Pacific Northwest. Her son, Rob, recalls sharing the house when he was younger with Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Dry Branch Fire Squad, and James King. She also shared her bluegrass with the family, with two of her three boys (Rob and Kevin) being fiddlers now themselves.

But you didn’t need to be a bluegrass star to earn her hospitality. Our own Terry Herd shared this remembrance of staying with the Bennetts when he was a young musician.

“I met Sharon in 1993 when she was kind enough to open her home to our band. She was a gentle, charismatic and joyful host. We immediately clicked and though we didn’t stay in close contact over the years, whenever we saw each other at one of the regular bluegrass sessions we always hugged, laughed and reminisced.”

Sharon was a performer at heart, and loved to be on stage, but also worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the Darrington festival with her dear friend Diana Morgan.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for September 19 at 1:00 p.m. at the Alger Community Hall in Alger, WA. She was a friend to everyone who loved bluegrass music, and all are welcome to attend.

The family has asked that memorial donations be made in her name to:

Washington Bluegrass Association
P.O. Box 490
Toledo, WA 98591

R.I.P., Sharon Bennett.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.