Pastor prepares eulogy for life-long friend, former NFL player and high school teacher

Updated: August 27, 2019 07:05 PM

Plans are underway to transform the gymnasium at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School Gymnasium in Long Prairie for the memorial service of former physical education teacher Barry Bennett and his wife Carol on Thursday morning.

The Todd County Sheriff’s Office said the couple was found fatally shot in their Long Prairie home last week.

"A big guy, very strong, very competitive, but he had a real heart and compassion for other people," said Pastor Dave Gibson, who will lead the memorial service.


Gibson also grew up with Barry Bennett, first meeting on the basketball court and football field in high school.

"He was a part of our family, like a real brother to me," Gibson said. "When I got news of his passing, it was like a bomb had dropped."

The couple's son, who was named a suspect, was picked up by authorities in Mexico and returned to Minnesota. He faced a Todd County judge on Tuesday morning.

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Twenty-two-year-old Dylan Bennett's bond was set at three million dollars on charges of second-degree murder.

Barry Bennett expressed concerns to the Todd County Sheriff’s Office back in the winter that Dylan, while in a mental health treatment facility, had expressed homicidal thoughts about killing his parents, according to court papers.

Gibson says the couple adopted Dylan after their other children were almost grown.

"Tragedy is one of the kids he tried to salvage in an adoption situation is the one who ended up turning on his mom and dad,” Gibson said. “I don't think we'll know on this side of eternity why things like that happen.”

Dylan Bennett’s public defender told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he did not have any comment at this time on the case.

Barry Bennett was a defensive lineman in the NFL for 11 seasons, and retired with the Minnesota Vikings in 1988. He also played for New Orleans and the New York Jets.

Former students and friends are planning a memorial walk/run for Wednesday night at the LPGE High School where he taught for 23 years.

“Most kids understood it was tough love and pushed them to do their best,” said Jon Kringen, the school district's superintendent. “A loveable guy, you never saw him without a smile on his face.”

Dylan Bennett’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 9.

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Eric Chaloux

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