Memories of Jake
Jake was born at Tri City Hospital in Oceanside on May 7, 1991 to his parents Jim and Diana. He welcomed his little brother Chris in 1993, and had many friends to play with each day as he and Chris were the founding members of the Bennett Family Day Care in Vista. He started playing basketball in the gym at Brengle Terrace Park at the age of five.
His family moved to Fallbrook in 1998. The pretty little neighborhood was filled with kids all close in age to Jake and Chris, and the sounds of laughter, skateboard ollies, dribbled basketballs, airsoft battles, and street hockey were a regular part of every day. Jake enjoyed his buddies at school, and played youth soccer, biddy ball and baseball, and basketball through the Fallbrook Boys and Girls Club.
In 2002, Jake and Chris had the great fortune to travel across America in a motorhome for three months with their Grandma and Grandpa Laney. They visited national parks, historic sites, family and friends in New England and along the eastern seaboard. They fished in lakes, hiked many trails, and visited Disneyworld in Florida. Grandma homeschooled them throughout the trip, but the trip itself was a wonderful education.
Jake attended Fallbrook High School for his freshman year before transferring to Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista for the remainder of their high school careers. Jake played basketball his three years there with coaches Terry Miller and Dave Morris, but was sidelined for most of his junior season when he suffered two broken wrists at the same time.
After graduating from RBVHS in 2010, Jake worked at several jobs (his favorite being at the now extinct Vista Entertainment Center) and attended Palomar College, earning his Associate of Science degree. In the summer of 2011 while working at La Costa Resort, he met the love of his life — gorgeous Victoria Eduardovna Petrova from Veliky Novgorod, Russia. They fell in love, and when Victoria returned to Russia that fall to finish her last year of university, they stayed in touch daily through the magic of Skype.
Jake traveled to Russia each summer from 2012 to 2014, staying with Victoria and her wonderful family. On his first visit, Jake proposed to Victoria at her family’s countryside home in Cresti. In 2013, Jake, Victoria, and her mother Lubov traveled from Novgorod to Crete and Santorini for several weeks. And in 2014, Jake and Victoria spent several weeks in Thailand.
Victoria began her career in hospitality with a job at the brand new Four Seasons Resort in Bahrain, where Jake visited her in 2015 and 2016. In November of 2016 he flew again to Russia for a pre-wedding celebration with her family, and brought her back to the U.S. for their wedding on December 17, 2017 at St. Michael’s by-the-Sea, accompanied by Victoria’s brother Stas (her man of honor) and uncle Roman (her bride’s man). Jake’s best man was his brother Chris, and his cousins Sydney and Kailey Bennett were his groomsmaids. It was a glorious day. After the wedding, Jake and Victoria took Stas and Roman on a road trip to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite. They later enjoyed a honeymoon on Maui.
In the almost three years they have been married, they acquired two lively corgis - Beem and Misha, worked hard at their jobs, and eventually found a lovely small home to rent in the foothills of Vista. Jake was so proud of his home with Victoria. He also explored several careers. He had worked for several years in the addiction recovery field, where his compassionate heart helped many men find serenity. He earned his California real estate license in June 2019 but found that the constant pressure of having to sell wasn’t a good fit with his easy-going nature. He landed a job with Vista Unified School District’s Child Nutrition Services in 2018, driving to each school throughout the district and making friends everywhere he went. He decided to aim for a BA in business to prepare for advancement with the district and was acing his first business class at MiraCosta this semester. He returned to basketball with the men’s league in San Marcos and helped his team achieve two championships.
As you all know, Jake was a big man, both physically and personality-wise. He loved to laugh, loved working out, and loved his wife and his dogs and his family and friends with a deep passion. He was funny, goofy, and a bit of a bull in a china shop. Things were always breaking around Jake. At his core, Jake was a giver, always asking how you were doing and what could he do to help. He’d end every conversation, in person or not, with “Hey, I love ya.” He was patient and kind to everyone who asked, “How tall are you?” and “How’s the weather up there?”. His generosity did not end with his death. He is an organ donor, helping helping others lead fuller lives.
Jake is survived by his wife Victoria, his parents Jim and Diana, Victoria’s parents Lubov and Eduard, his brother Chris and Chris’ fiancé Samantha Strawser, his nephew Hartley, his brother-in-law Stanislaw Petrov, his grandparents Bob and Lee Laney and Hartley Bennett, his aunts and uncles Mike and Kristie Bennett, Dan and Kathleen Bennett, and Lynette and Stacy James, his cousins Jennifer, Karen, Sydney, Kailey, Coral, and Zack, and many extended family members both in the U.S. and in Russia.
We will all miss our adventurous, spontaneous, kind, affectionate, funny, loving, playful, creative Jake. His big teddy-bear hugs. His way of always encouraging others. He took care of his friends, cherished his family, enjoyed his work, and was in awe of the world around him. He was full of hopes and plans for the future, all with his darling Victoria by his side. Most of all, we will miss his generous, loving spirit. We are grateful for the happy memories, laughter, good times, and the deep, committed love that Jake experienced throughout his twenty-eight years, and that he shared so freely with all of us.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jacob Michael (Jake) Bennett, please visit our floral store.
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