Colleagues remember Kane County's Jay Bennett Jr., as go-to election expert

The Kane County Clerk's Office has lost a key member of its election team.

Jay C. Bennett Jr., the county's chief deputy clerk since 2006 who was in charge of running elections and implementing electronic voting machines, died Sunday from cancer at the age of 59.

“He fought and fought and fought. He's at peace now,” Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said Tuesday. “He was very highly thought of in the election community. He was a great asset to our office.”

Bennett, whose father served as DuPage County Clerk, grew up in Wheaton and graduated from Wheaton North High School.

He served as CEO of the Fidlar Election Co. in Rock Island, Ill., for 25 years before joining the Kane County Clerk's Office in 2006 and moving to Geneva.

Cunningham said election officials from Illinois, Indiana and Iowa sought Bennett's counsel when he ran Fidlar.

“He was known as an expert on elections,” Cunningham said.

Mary Pat Bennett, who met her husband when they worked part-time at the DuPage County Clerk's Office, said he was a devoted husband and father who enjoyed walking, cycling, gardening and spending time with his grandchildren.

He also was passionate about ensuring that fair and accurate elections were held.

“What made him tick was elections. It was in his blood. He wanted to make sure every election was fair and honest,” she said, nothing that Jay helped carry precinct kits to election judges when he was 14. “He was a wonderful, wonderful man. He befriended everybody. He was a people person.”

Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday as the Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State St., Geneva.

Services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the funeral home, then proceeding to Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2300 Main St., Batavia, for a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Memorials may be made to Seasons Hospice, 621 Plainfield Road, Willowbrook, Ill., 60527.

A complete obituary can be found here.

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