Honoring loved ones with a tribute gift – Jekyll Island Foundation

Honoring loved ones with a tribute gift

Larry and Jann

Larry The Wanderer - 1959

Family Vacation - mid 70s


Larry and Jody Reichel

Reichel Wedding

A story of Larry and Jann Bennett as shared by Rob and Jody (Bennett) Reichel

Rob and Jody Reichel first learned about Jekyll Island Foundation through JIF Executive Director Dion Davis, a close friend of Jody’s parents—Larry and Jann Bennett. Longtime residents of Hilton Head Island, Rob and Jody have four children and four (soon to be five) grandchildren. Recently, Jody told their story to Dion.

Family vacations on Jekyll Island

“My father grew up vacationing on Jekyll Island, and therefore it became our favorite place to go! We would come from Jesup annually to attend Easter egg hunts, and at various times throughout the year for family vacations—to ride bikes, play putt-putt, and enjoy the beaches.”

In fact, in the 60s my parents had architectural plans drawn up to build a house on Jekyll. My daddy always regretted not building that house.

Jekyll Island has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. Our family loves the Island, with its wide bike paths, great beaches, historic Jekyll Club Resort, putt-putt golf, tennis, golf courses, and dining. Our oldest son was married at the Jekyll Club Hotel.

Tribute gift and bench dedication

We rode bikes so often as kids and as adults in the historic district and always wanted a place in my parents’ memory to stop and reflect. When my parents were still alive, they loved the idea of a bench in their honor. 

After Mom passed away a few years ago and Daddy this past February, my husband donated the bench as a Mother’s Day gift, just in time to celebrate Daddy’s birthday on July 2nd—his 92nd—and my 63rd birthday on July 4th. We’ve spent our whole lives celebrating birthdays together. 

My father’s favorite scripture, which he quoted every morning, was ‘This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it’ (Psalm 118:24). That’s what we put on the plaque so our family would never forget to rejoice and be glad in every day the Lord gives.” 

The work of JIF

Rob and Jody believe the work of the Foundation is significant because of the long-term investment for the betterment of Jekyll Island. 

When asked what natural area or historic spot on the island is most attractive to them, they shared, “The refurbishment of the historic cottages. It keeps alive a bygone era for generations to come.”

Contact Us

Jekyll Island Foundation

P.O. Box 13002, Jekyll Island, GA 31527
Phone: (912) 635-4100


Looking to contact the Jekyll Island Authority? Please click here.