Karen Ann Jennings
May 23, 1944 – March 25, 2021
Karen Ann Jennings, aged 76, passed peacefully on Thursday March 25, 2021.
Karen was born May 23, 1944 in Huntington, Texas to the late Horace and Mary Sowell. She is preceded in death by her husband Vernon H. Jennings, brother James Earl Sowell and sister Callie Louise McNeill. Karen is survived by her daughter, Kimberly Ann Jennings, son Kerry Allen Jennings, daughter in law Jana Jennings, son in law Page Dillehunt, grandson Jordan Allen Jennings and granddaughter Alexis Red Jennings, as well as her beloved cats Mocha and Sun-Sun. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.
A small-town girl at heart, Karen attended Huntington High School where she was honored to be crowned Homecoming Queen in 1962. After completing her education and ready for a new adventure, she moved to Houston, Texas where she met her future husband Vernon. Karen also became a member of Willow Meadows Baptist Church, making cherished lifelong friendships. Karen was highly regarded as the Administrator for Dr. Michael E. DeBakey M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine early in her career and went on to become the Administrator for the Department of Surgery and Cardiothoracic under, both friend and colleague, Dr. George P. Noon M.D. for 45 years.
When she was not working, Karen’s focus was her family. Her treasured times with Kimberly often included shopping, debating fashion, and getting their hair done together. Her memorable times with Kerry were spent attending his many sporting events, discussing football, and, as a child, stopping by Shipley’s donuts. If she were not spending time with immediate family, she and her sister Callie could be found chatting on the phone or enjoying shopping sprees that would last for hours on end.
Karen had many interests, but her strong love for college football was what she was best known for. While her son Kerry played football at Baylor, she made sure to attend every weekend to cheer the Bears on. Although she supported several teams, her passion was the University of Texas Longhorns. Karen shared her passion for the Horns with her daughter, where the two spent many Saturday’s screaming and throwing things at the television. Often Kimberly would attend the games and Karen got play by play updates over the phone so she would know what happened before the TV caught up. Clearly, she passed her love of sports on to her children, and her couch coaching will be sorely missed during the seasons to come. As much as her Saturdays were taken by sports, she would drop everything for her greatest joys, her grandchildren. She was affectionately called “Ammaw” by both Jordan and Alexis. Jordan (“Bubba”) was her first grandchild, and it was often joked that he was the “golden child” due to the many pictures hanging around her home. Although Alexis (“Lexi”), came a little later, she was her special little princess. Her Ammaw loved her creativity and, as her family laughed on, she would eat anything her princess whipped up for her in the kitchen. In Karen’s later years, she enjoyed being at home with her two cats, watching the Houston Astros, the Houston Texans, Family Feud, the news, enjoying visits from (and cooking for) her family at holiday’s.
Karen will be cherished as the loved and admired person that she was in life and the family takes comfort knowing that she is resting in peace.
The memorial service will be livestreamed; the link may be accessed by selecting the "Join Livestream" icon in the service information section.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Karen Ann Jennings
April 1, 2021
Knowing that Karen is with Jesus is a comfort to me but I will miss her for as long as I live. Fifty plus years of deep friendship and love for one another are cherished. Karen was caring and compassionate, loved her family, worked to provide for her family, never gave up, hospitable, fun to be with and partly responsible for some of my weight as she was a fabulous cook and loved to go eat Mexican food with me.
If you would read Proverbs 31: 10-31, you would find her being described.
March 30, 2021
Even though I only had the pleasure to meet your mother a couple of times during our high school years, I instantly felt the warmth and love that she provided every day in her home. I felt welcome and immediately could tell what a big heart she had not only for her family, but for anybody she met.
And it’s obvious to see that she gave you that same big heart. The way you cared for your mother these last year‘s inspires me to no end. I know she is so proud of you and as she was greeted at heavens gates I know the phrase she keeps hearing over and over again is welcome home and look at your beautiful children you did well, you did well. ❤️❤️❤️
March 30, 2021
When I think about you I think of Thanksgivings at your house and dying to get done eating to eat the pies off the table in the sun room. The piano I would play obnoxiously with zero tune. Laying on Kimberly’s bed watching whatever reality show was on and looking at fashion magazines. With you and nana in the living room so annoyed with our loud “toots” and even louder laugh. The two of you screaming at the tv when football was on. Getting so full even though you would eat like a tick then a trio to Harwin St 2would take place to “walk it off”
You were a huge part of my childhood and I held you and nana on a level no one will compare too. Your children were so important to you and so was family. You shaped me into part of the woman I am too with traditions and love for football. We will miss you dearly and I’m sorry life was so crazy at the end. I’m glad you are at peace and with the people who make you happy. Until we meet again...
March 29, 2021
There was no greater woman on earth than you mom. You taught me how to be a good son, husband and father. You were the only person who truly understood me and knew what to say when I needed it. I will miss our phone calls talking about sports, your cats and my children. Being with you in your final days meant so much to me. Holding your hand and making you laugh all the way to the end. Peace is now upon you. You did everything the right way. You were the ultimate example of what a mother is. You were the heart and soul of the family and it will always be that way. No one can take your place. You are gone but never forgotten. I love you so much mom. Rest easy and just know I will make you proud. The same way you made us proud and made the world a better place. Love always and forever.
March 29, 2021
It was a singular and unique honor to be part of the family. Karen was the unquestioned queen of the family and all that knew her loved her dearly. Including me.
March 29, 2021
This is all so hard for me to wrap my head around. I’m taking comfort knowing you’re resting peacefully but my heart breaks knowing you are gone from this world. It’s been me & you for so long & I’m beyond thankful I got to spend the final years of your life doing what we did best...squabbling with each other over your care, how I dressed, our love of Longhorns football, calling you everyday, the laughs we shared through the years, all the horrible storms we drove through during holidays, I can go on & on. Please know I did everything I could to make sure you had the best care possible & I will miss you tremendously. I will love you forever.
March 29, 2021
Karen was the queen of the Jennings household. Her quick-witted and hilariously salty commentary when we misbehaved during family gatherings or said something inappropriate were to be repeated with laughter for years. She truly loved her family with all of her heart. I miss you Karen, above and beyond words.