Geraldine Campbell Jennings

A bright light went out in DeFuniak Springs, FL, on Nov. 12, 2006, when Geraldine Campbell Jennings better known as “Jerry” died peacefully at home, her son and daughter at her bedside.

Jerry, a native of DeFuniak Springs was born Sept. 5, 1913, the eldest of seven children to Gussie and W.O. Campbell, Sr. at their house on Live Oak and 11th Street. She would call 11th Street home until her marriage in 1936.

She was a graduate of Palmer Academy and College and worked at a variety of jobs, including her father’s hardware store. Gulf Power and First National Bank. In 1936, she married George Melville Jennings, a native of Walton County and then settled in DeFuniak Springs to raise two children, Bill and Vickie. She was a loving wife and mother who never missed a school play or little league game, yet still had time to “tend to the world” as Melville would often tease her. In the [1960s] she “borrowed” a back corner of her husband’s store, W.K. Jennings Co. and opened a women’s clothing shop, “Jerry’s Corner.” Within a few years her little corner encompassed the entire store. She was a generous, but tough business woman who loved traveling to market and helping customers find the item that was just right for them.

In her late fifties she realized a dream of her own when she returned to college and graduated with a BA in elementary education from the University of West Florida. Her 15 years of teaching [kindergarten] children were a joy to her and to her students. She had that childlike love of life to which the children related. She touched many lives and helped them on their way to adulthood.

Retirement at age 72 didn’t slow her down. She found joy in gardening, cooking, church work and traveling but mostly in sharing her time with friends and family.

Mrs. Jennings was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church and although her health has kept her from regular attendance in the past few years, she never waivered in her faith in God or her love and loyalty to the church and congregation.

In her 93 years. she was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher and friend. Her love, generosity and vitality for life will be sorely missed by those left to grieve, but rest assured, she will be reunited with so many friends and family who have
preceded her. Here on Earth she will live on through the countless lives she has touched in her long and blessed life.

The family would especially like to thank her loving caregivers of the last few years: Ms. Annie Reid Coleman of Panama City, FL, Mrs. Pat Bartlett, Elma Frankhouser and Iris Scott, all of DeFuniak Springs, and also the dear friend Willa Louise Flournoy Hansen, who made home care possible with her generosity.

Mrs. Jennings is survived by her son, William Kemper “Bill” Jennings of DeFuniak Springs; her daughter, Martha Victoria “Vickie” Jennings; grandchildren, Catharine Ellen Ware and husband, Benjamin, of Cleveland, MS, and Patrick Watson Jennings of Pensacola; great-grandchildren Caroline and Mary Catharine Ware, three sisters-in-law, Jane Campbell, Camille “Tiny B” Campbell, and Janet Campbell, all of DeFuniak Springs, and her close, loving and devoted friends, Jimie Gray and Alma Williams. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

Floral arrangements are being accepted or memorials may be made in Mrs. Jennings’ memory to First Presbyterian Church.

A time of visitation will be one hour prior to funeral time at First Presbyterian Church.

Funeral services will be Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church with Rev. John Napoli and Bob Campbell officiating.

Burial will follow in Magnolia Cemetery.

[Source: The DeFuniak Springs Herald, November 16, 2006, Page 7B]

[Burial: Magnolia Cemetery, DeFuniak Springs]