RICHMOND, Ind. – Jerry Lee Jennings, age 82, of Richmond, Indiana, negotiated his last deal on Saturday, November 23, 2019, and went to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 1, 2019, at Reid Health following complications from a stroke.
Born October 3, 1937, in Richmond, Indiana, to Delbert L. “Dutch” and Mae E. Skaggs Jennings, Jerry was a 1955 graduate of Jefferson High School in New Paris, Ohio. His father started a business in 1946, which he joined in 1955 when it became D&J Homes. While it has experienced slight modifications over the years, leading to its present-day form as a manufactured and modular home retailer, D&J Homes has been a fixture in the Richmond community for over 70 years and one of Jerry’s lifelong passions. Through his dedication to the business, he set high expectations for his family and instilled a strong work ethic in his children and grandchildren. Jerry continued to operate and work in the front office until Saturday, November 23, the day he sold his last two homes.
On September 27, 1959, Jerry married the love of his life, Karen Sue Thompson. He considered himself a fortunate man to have Karen and told anyone who would listen how much he adored her, but for anyone watching, the adoration was mutual. Each day before heading to work, if he didn’t get the opportunity to tell her goodbye in person, Jerry would leave Karen a note signed with an arrow-struck heart and his initials, JJ. For over 60 years, they served as complements to each other’s character, a mutual support system, and partners in their walk with Christ.
While Monday through Saturday were for business, Sundays were reserved for family. Jerry and Karen hosted Sunday afternoon lunch for their family for decades in their home. These meals served as a hub for getting together to spend quality time chatting about everything, but business, and fostered the close-knit relationships his grandchildren and great-grandchildren had with Papo Jerry, as he was referred to, and continue to have with one another.
A devoted servant of God, Jerry was a member of LifeSpring Church, previously Fountain City Wesleyan Church, where he served in various positions over the years to include: Sunday School teacher, member of the board of trustees, treasurer, bus driver, greeter, and usher. He also attended the Bible Study Fellowship program for many years throughout that time. Jerry believed he owed everything in his life to the grace and goodness of God and strived to share the Gospel of Jesus with everyone he met, inviting them to church and even making sure they had the transportation and support to make it through the doors.
Jerry loved to meet new people and learn about the world around him through the experiences of those he encountered. No matter what walk of life a person came from, Jerry treated each one with the same dignity and respect. He always found the good in people and never stopped believing that a person could change for the better.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Karen Sue Thompson Jennings; five children, Lisa (Eric) Hendrix, Brian “Butch” (Teresa) Jennings, Mark Jennings, Joseph Jennings, and Matthew Jennings; 15 grandchildren, Rachel (Jason) Jordan, Cara (Nick) Wyatt, Jessica Jennings, Alyssa Jennings, Christopher (Sandra Pilgrim) Jennings, Andrew Jennings, Michael Jennings, Krystle (Jeremy) Maiden, Rebecca (Alex Asbell) Jennings, Katelyn (Bradley) Siegel, Karly (Hunter) Cochran, Logan Jennings, Joseph Jennings, William “Will” Jennings, and Gabriella Jennings; 17 great-grandchildren, Axel Sullivan, Samantha Jordan, Carter and Tommy Cochran, Alan and Landon Jennings, Allison and Bryson Jennings, Gracey and Ruby Asbell, Delilah and Coda Maiden, Wyatt Henry, Waylon and Alden Siegel, and Charlotte and Abel Wyatt; honorary great-grandchildren, Kaydance Vanee and Morghan Martin; sister, Sue (John) Butler; brother, Bill (Shelby) Jennings; brothers-in-law, Larry (Mary) and Jerry (Susan) Thompson; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Linda Petry; and infant grandson, Mark A. Jennings.
Visitation for Jerry Lee Jennings will be from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2019, at LifeSpring Church, 5600 North U.S. 27, Richmond. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, December 7, 2019, at LifeSpring Church with Pastor David Anderson and Pastor Steve Bray officiating. Burial will be in Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions may be made to: LifeSpring Church, 5600 North U.S. 27, Richmond, IN 47374 or Hope House, P.O. Box 1828, Richmond, IN 47375, which shares Jerry’s belief in and dedication to providing those who have fallen on hard times a helping hand and a second chance.
And with that, we need to wrap this up because those who knew Jerry best, know he would have shuddered at the fact we spent more than $5 on this column.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.doanmillsfuneralhome.com.