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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A longtime local business has lost its founder.

Bennett Nurseries announced Friday morning that George Bennett died Wednesday after a seven-year battle with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a neurologic disease that affects one’s ability to communicate.

After nearly a decade as a draftsman, Bennett began his gardening career in the early 70s at what was then known as Byers Nursery Center, running the business with his friend David Byers. By the mid-80s, Bennett bought out Byers, renaming the business to its present name.

Visitation will be held from 9-10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 21 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church (625 Airport Road, Huntsville) with a memorial mass following. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Huntsville Botanical Garden, where Bennett was a board member. Read George Bennett’s full obituary here.

Bennett Nurseries will be closed Monday morning to allow staff to attend services. The nursery will reopen at 1 p.m.