Today, we celebrate the homegoing of our beloved, RICHARD COLUMBUS JENNINGS. Richard was a loving and devoted pastor, son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, friend, and soldier (United States Air Force Veteran).
Surrounded by the love of his family, Richard answered God’s call and went to rest in His presence Wednesday, February 17, 2021, at 4:50 pm. In Heaven, he was lovingly welcomed with open arms by Chester Jennings (father), Dora Lottie (mother), Stanford Lottie (stepfather), Ruby Steen Preston, and Ida Newborne (Sisters).
Elder Jennings was born on December 2, 1938, in Hayti Missouri to the union of Chester and Dora (Poole) Jennings. When he was 6, his family moved to South Bend, Indiana where he graduated from Washington High School in 1957. Richard had a strong desire to serve his country, he patriotically joined the United States Air Force - from which he was honorably discharged from duty in 1961. Upon leaving the military, he attended both Indiana State University and Chicago State University, receiving a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Business Administration.
While in Chicago, he met his first wife, JoEnne (Smith) Jennings. They were united in matrimony on December 25, 1963. From that union daughter, Richara Colette, and son, Richard Christopher were born. After separating, Elder Richard returned to South Bend, Indiana, where he met his loving wife, Debra Faye (Austin) Jennings. They were married on July 9, 1977. Their union produced daughters, Brittney Jillian and Brandi Jarvis.
Elder Richard Jennings’ professional career included employment as both a Chicago City Bus Driver and Police Officer. He was the first black national sales representative for Gallo Wines, Mogen David Wines, and World Wines Ltd. As God’s Servant, he provided services to many distinguished Clergy and Churches. He proudly served as a Chaplain, Minister, Elder, and Pastor. In addition to all this, he was also a successful business entrepreneur.
Left to forever cherish his memory are his wife of 43 years, Debra Jennings; son Richard Christopher (Lesley) Jennings (Denver, Colorado); 3 daughters, Richara (Chicago, Illinois), Brittney, and Brandi Jennings (South Bend, Indiana); and granddaughters Micah, Aureon, Jaelyn (Denver, Colorado) & London Jennings (South Bend, Indiana); and Godson Keith Weatherspoon (Georgia). He will also be lovingly remembered by his sisters Doris Wright, Carrie Weyman, and Lois Swardarski, and brothers Chester Jr., Clyde, and Cedric Jennings; brothers-in-law, Geno Austin (West Virginia), Carl (Marilyn) Taylor, and William (Janathan) Austin, and a host of devoted nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.
Say not in grief, 'he is no more,' but, in thankfulness, that ‘he was.’” – Hebrew Proverb.
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