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Our current obituaries are listed below.
William A. 'Bill' Jennings
Sunday, March 25, 2012
4:00 PM until 7:00 PM
Koskey Funeral Home, Inc.
106 West Main Street
Negaunee, MI 49866
Monday, March 26, 2012
Bethany Lutheran Church
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|William A. ‘Bill’ Jennings
William Allen ‘Bill’ Jennings, 84, of 416 Maitland St., Negaunee, entered eternal life at 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21st at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility where he had been a resident for a short period of time. Bill courageously fought a multiple year war with Alzheimer’s disease with the love of his life, Beverly, present for each battle. She held his hand until the end.
Bill was born January 7, 1928 in Negaunee, MI to Russell and Ellen (Carlson) Jennings, the third of five boys, and was a life-long Negaunee resident.
Having strengthened his legs delivering papers as a boy before school from one end of town to the other, Bill (Swivel Hips) was most well known for his success as an athlete for various Negaunee Miner teams (nine letters in three sports). Widely regarded as one of the most outstanding football players in NHS history, Bill was named All-State and graduated from Negaunee High School in 1946. After a victorious, history-making MVP performance in the U.P. High School Football All-Star game in which he scored two of three touchdowns and three extra points, he attended the University of Michigan where he also played football. He finished his college playing days at Northern Michigan University (MVP in 1953) as the distance between him and his true love proved too far. Having earned a teaching degree while at NMU, he spent many years as a coach at Negaunee St. Paul and Marquette Bishop Baraga schools and as a teacher/coach in Newberry, MI. Bill also spent a great deal of time enjoying the life of softball, playing for and sponsoring several fast-pitch softball teams for a period of over thirty years…most notable Wisconsin National Life. Later, for his athletic endeavors, Bill was nominated by Scott Koski, and eventually inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Intrigued after listening to one of the many guest speakers Bill had arranged for his students in Newberry, he explored the world of insurance and he was an instant success. He eventually owned and operated Jennings Insurance on U.S. 41 in Negaunee. Bill personally dealt with claims of all kinds well into his 70’s, but his talents as a salesman had long prior become evident as he earned various honors and gained attendance to several sales conventions around the country.
Always concerned with community and education, Bill sought and was elected to the Negaunee School Board on which he served twelve years and then stepped down to spearhead the formation of the Negaunee IRONTOWN, USA Association. Under his leadership, IRONTOWN grew and prospered and he was designated as the first lifetime member. He was also a lifetime member of the Negaunee Elks and Bethany Lutheran Church in Negaunee, MI. He had also spent time on the church council. He was an avid golfer and longtime member of the Wawonowin Golf Club and former member of the Negaunee Lions Club as well.
Until the effects of Alzheimer’s gained control and limited Bill’s capabilities, most will remember him as an avid sports fan. It was not only for his beloved Negaunee Miners, Michigan Wolverines and Green Bay Packers, but for any team his children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren were involved with. Whether home or away, from Sault St. Marie to Bergland up to the Copper Country...and then on to follow the team through district, regional and state tournaments, Bill was there. Wherever he went, he was greeted with, “Hello Billy!” He was blessed with great family, great friends, and a great life.
Bill is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Beverly Mae (Johnson) Jennings of Negaunee; children: Jason Jennings (George Staubli) of Tiburon, CA, Tanya Jennings (Dan Niemi) of Marquette, Jon (Kay Koskey) Jennings of Kingsford, Jeff Jennings (Dennis Stiltjes) of Green Bay; grandchildren: Staci Peterson, Tori (Ben) Sager, Kyle Koski, Lucas and Jaelyn Jennings; great-grandchildren: Scotti and Liam Peterson, and Lincoln, Kyler, and Addison Sager; brother, Kenneth (Arloa) Jennings of Saline, MI; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws: Jack and Ethel Johnson, and 3 brothers: Russell “Bubber” Jennings, Emery Jennings and an infant brother Robert.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 26th at Bethany Lutheran Church with Rev. Rell Spickerman officiating. Burial will be in the Negaunee Cemetery. The family will greet relatives and friends from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Koskey Funeral Home on Sunday evening, March 25th, and also at a reception on Monday following the service in the church fellowship hall. Pallbearers will be: Benjamin Sager, Kyle Koski, Lucas Jennings, Robin Jennings, Karl Jennings and Daniel Niemi.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to The Upper Peninsula Office of the Alzheimer’s Association, Bethany Lutheran Church in Negaunee, or the Negaunee Sports Booster.
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