Donald L. Jennings


unknown - February 12, 2011

Donald L. Jennings, age 78 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Saturday, February 12, 2011, at Capital Region Medical Center after battling heart disease.
Don was born April 28, 1932, in Carthage, Mo., the son of Lee M. and Doris Knowles Jennings. He was the great-grandson of a Methodist Circuit Rider, George Knowles, from Sarcoxie, Mo. Don was a 1950 graduate of Carthage High School in Carthage, Mo. and attended Kansas State Teacher College in Pittsburg, Kansas, learning to operate the linotype machine. Don went on to become typesetter at the "Unterrified Democrat" newspaper in Linn. He was married on May 11, 1952, in Linn, Mo. to Norma Jean Wolfe. Don joined the Navy during the Korean War and received his basic training at Great Lakes Naval training center in Chicago, Illinois. He went on to serve in Washington DC at the National Security Information Center. While in the Navy, Don learned to operate IBM accounting machines. He took that training and went to work for the IBM main office in Jefferson City, where he worked as a Tech Specialist, serving IBM customers at state offices, banks, schools, utility companies and small manufacturers. He retired in 1992 after 38 years of service. Don was a member of First United Methodist Church; a lifetime member of the NRA; past member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 2693; the American Legion, Roscoe Enloe Post 5; and a member of the Teal Bottom River Rats near Henley, Mo., since 1965. He spent many wonderful hours with his family at their cabin, fishing, mowing grass, feeding humming birds and just doing nothing on the deck overlooking the mighty Osage River. An avid photographer, Don loved to take pictures of nature and family celebrations. Many of his nature photos were published in the News Tribune over the years. He spent time planning his weekend schedule by the auction notices from the weekly newspaper. He enjoyed attending area auctions, especially at the Disabled Military Veterans (DMV) building. Above all, Don enjoyed his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandson. They often benefited from hidden treasures from his auction adventures. Don enjoyed spending time at the Capital Region HealthPlex with his friends, sometimes exercising the mouths more than their hearts. Survivors include: his wife of 58 years, Norma Jennings; four children, Debbie McIlwain of Jefferson City, Mo., Donnie (Pat) Jennings of Gilman, Iowa, Doug (Lesa) Jennings of Centertown, Mo., and Dana (Tom) Gibler of Jefferson City, Mo.; nine grandchildren, Carrie McIlwain and special friend Eddy Shelley of Jefferson City, Mo., Katie McIlwain of Jefferson City, Mo., Ryan (Ashley) Jennings of Chicago, Ill., Adam (Theresa) Jennings of Coralville, Iowa, Brett Jennings and special friend Jenna Shine of Gilman, Iowa, Andy Jennings of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Aubrey Sluyter, Hannah Sluyter, and Samantha Gibler, all of Jefferson City, Mo.; one great-grandson, Daniel James "D.J" Brown of Jefferson City, Mo.; and Don's special pets, his long-haired dachshund, Killigan, and his cat, Precious. He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, William M. Jennings; and sister-in-law, Marna Mortenson Jennings. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, February, 15, 2011. Funeral services with military honors will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Daniel Hilty officiating. Private entombment will held at a later date in the Mausoleum of Riverview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice Compasses or the Capital Region Healthplex. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

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