OBITUARY

John W. Jennings Jr.

5 December, 193416 February, 2021

John Webb Jennings, Jr., went home to Jesus unexpectedly, with a wrench in his hands, while attempting to save his home on Tuesday, the 16th of February 2021. He was 86 years of age.

Born on the 5th of December 1934, in Gladewater, Texas, John grew up in Kilgore and attended Kilgore Junior College before entering his beloved alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin College of Engineering. While there, John pledged Phi Delta Theta his junior year and had stories and friends he shared for the rest of life.

After graduation, John moved to Olean, New York, to work for Clark Brothers selling engineering services and compressors. He moved to Houston where he raised his family and pursued his passion for real estate development.

John joined the Houston Country Club in 1965 and spent over 50 years making lifelong memories with his regular golf game group and playing cards in the Club’s “Red Room”.

A true outdoorsman, John was most at home on any golf course, inshore fishing in Port O’Connor and Port Mansfield or bass in East Texas and chasing bobwhite quail in South Texas. Some of John’s best stories came from these pursuits, along with playing golf in nationwide golf events, including 20 years at the Bing Crosby Pro Am at Pebble Beach and the US Senior Amateur Championship. John believed the values instilled by the game of golf made him a better man, and he later became a director with the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association to share his passion with younger generations.

John was the ultimate man’s man, he had a larger-than-life presence and possessed a magnetic, old Hollywood charisma that was impossible to resist. A prolific and natural storyteller, John was notoriously known for charming everyone around him. From humble beginnings in Kilgore to the city life in Houston, people gravitated towards this storytelling southern gentleman because he loved a good time.

John had fond memories of playing the piano alongside Van Cliburn; enduring pledgeship antics with Dabney Coleman; and hunting and playing golf with Bing Crosby, Craig Stadler and Fred Couples. Of course, all of these experiences were woven into his stories.

If you were in John’s capable hands, you knew two things for sure: he was a man of his word who would follow through on his promises and he was a man willing to share everything he had: his home, his time, his wisdom and an occasional off-color joke to expose his wit.

John was an irreplaceable patriarch to his family, particularly at family gatherings where he always led the family in prayer. His booming voice and “call it like you see it” persona were equally matched by his tenderness, depth, and loyalty to those he loved. He lived out his values more than he talked about them, but if you paid close attention, you would see a man who would lay down his life for his family and friends. John embodied the best in all of us with his unwavering integrity, quiet humility and deep-rooted faith in God. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Our elder statesman will be deeply missed.

John is preceded in death by his father, John Webb Jennings, and his mother Dessa Mae Jennings. He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 37 years, Sara Foreman Jennings; his daughter, Laura Turner and her husband John; his son, Webb Jennings and his wife Christy; his grandchildren, John and Grace Turner, and Mary B. and Lila Jennings; brothers and sisters-in-law, Suzanne and Hart Schleicher, Kim and Ira Franks, Jim and Michele Foreman and Dan Foreman and Mike Svat; mother-in-law, Anna J. Foreman; and nephews and nieces, Ryan Schleicher and Sara Schleicher, Beau Kaleel and Brooke Horlen, Callie Gaines, Michael Foreman, and Will Foreman, and Chase Foreman, Clark Foreman, and Carly Foreman.

Those who loved John are cordially invited to share their favorite stories and memories with his family during a visitation to be held from five o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening on Monday, the 1st of March, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

Following a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, a memorial service is to be conducted at three o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, the 2nd of March, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston. Due to COVID and capacity seating restrictions at the church, virtual attendance is encouraged and may be accessed at www.JohnWJennings.com, or by visiting his online memorial tribute at GeoHLewis.com and selecting the “Join Livestream” icon in his Memorial Service information section. There, you may also share memories and words of comfort and condolence electronically with his family.

KINDLY NOTE: in accordance with current state health and safety protocols, and for the safety of all guests, facemasks and the practice of social distancing are required for attendance at both events.

The family may choose to celebrate John’s life with a reception at a later date.

In lieu of customary remembrances, friends and family are asked to direct memorial gifts to the Houston Country Club Scholarship Fund at 1 Potomac Drive Houston, TX, 77057; or to the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association at 13760 Noel Rd. #327 Dallas, TX, 75240.

Services

  • Visitation with the Family

    Monday, 1 March , 2021

  • Visitation with the Family

    Monday, 1 March , 2021

  • Memorial Mass

    Tuesday, 2 March , 2021

    PREVIOUS SERVICES

  • Memorial Mass

    Tuesday, 2 March , 2021

Memories

John W. Jennings Jr.

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Christopher Job

2 March 2021

As president of the Houston Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to The Jennings Family. John was a wonderful brother and exactly as described. I was pleased to play golf with him a couple of times and it was easy to see why he was welcomed to play in the Bing Crosby Invitational. May he rest in peace. Sincerely, Christopher M. Job

Nancy Williams

2 March 2021

Sara, Webb, Christy, Laura and John,

Ken and I are so saddened for your loss of John. We used to visit with him often at the Club Fitness Center. We are thinking of you and your family and express our deepest sympathies to all of you. He will be missed.
Love,
Nancy and Ken

Kathy Hoge

2 March 2021

Sara, I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious John. He was always a kind neighbor, anxious to know how I was doing...I will miss his big smile. My prayers are with you and your family.
Kathy

Ralph Burda

27 February 2021

Sara, Please accept my condolences on John’s passing. The few times John and I visited, I enjoyed swapping jokes and tossing a couple of margaritas at Sylvia’s on Woodway while watching Thursday golf on television. Good memories. You and John are in my prayers.
Ralph Burda

Arista Zaczek

27 February 2021

My dearest Sara and family,
As you celebrate John’s life on this earth, he truly was a great man that was so full of life, full of caring and full of craziness and humor. He left behind a wonderful legacy. He loved to make people laugh. When I was around John, he made me laugh and was so much fun. He certainly has an enormous memory with LIPS with our famous destination Christmas dinner with dessert and coffee at your home. OMG, that is a funny story. Andy Williams will always be our favorite Christmas album!!

Sara, you know I love you and cherish our friendship and want you to know that I am here for you anytime, any day, you are not alone. May all of the beautiful memories you have with John be a blessing to you and your family. Please accept my sympathies for losing your special someone. Arista Zaczek

Annabelle Allen

26 February 2021

Sara, Please know that you have my heartfelt sympathy. My prayers are with you on your loss. I feel like he has joined a friend, Sutton, and they are in a better place. He was dearly loved by many and will be missed. Hope to see you in the future for a visit. Love you!

Michael Evans

26 February 2021

John was my friend. John and I had wonderful times together in Wyoming.

The last time I saw John was when Carol was going home to be with Jesus. John and Carol are now together in the presence of the one they love the most.

Happy Trails my Friend

Mike Evans

Shirley Warnock

25 February 2021

Dear Sara and family,
I was so sorry to hear of John’s sudden departure from this earth to his Heavenly home. While you and your family don’t know me, I was one of John’s classmates in the Kilgore, Texas school days, and have many fond memories. He had a lively and fun loving spirit and was dearly loved. You all are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this time. May the Lord bless you with an abundance of peace and comfort as only He can bring.

Shirley Passmore Warnock

Marian Williams Denny

25 February 2021

Dearest Sarah;
I was so sorry to hear of John’s tragic & unexpected accident. Many memories of me
You & Linda suddenly are now remembered...following “the man” around town!
You will be in our prayers & may God give you sweet peace & good memories!

Love, Marian

Lynn Russell

24 February 2021

Dear Webb and Christy, We were devastated to learn of John's passing. I know he was a larger than life kind of guy and you will all miss him terribly.
Sending love and prayers to all,
Lynn and John Russell

From the Family