This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.
For the past 15 years, there were only two family physicians in Greenfield, Mo., a town with 1,371 residents about 40 miles northwest of Springfield. One of them was Dr. Michael Bennett, who opened his practice, the Greenfield Medical Center, in 2005.
He was a vigorous proponent of wearing masks and of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, though he faced resistance to his calls from some townspeople, and he offered free Covid-19 testing to his patients with funding help from the federal C.A.R.E.S. Act.
died of Covid-19 on March 6, his former wife, Teresa Bennett, said. He was 52.
health department. “It’s really hit us, but not as hard as other areas,” she said on Wednesday.
Nationwide, 452,706 health care workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 1,505 have died as of March 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Michael Keith Bennett was born on Feb. 15, 1969, in New London, Mo., in the northeast part of the state. His father, Bob, was a farmer; his mother, Meredith (Arnold) Bennett, most recently helped manage her son’s clinic.
A head injury from a car accident when he was in high school changed Dr. Bennett’s career path.
“He was hurt pretty badly, and during that stay in the hospital he decided he wanted to be a doctor,” Ms. Bennett said by phone. “He was into auto mechanics before that.”