JENNINGS, Richard Edward "Dick"
Richard Edward "Dick" Jennings, 94, was born in Springfield, MA on July 25, 1918. He attended local schools, and was attending Technical High School, when he had to leave to work to help his family financially. He was unable to complete high school because he was called to active duty in the Army during World War II. Dick joined the Army on May 3, 1941 and remained in the Army until Sept. 27, 1945 when he was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant. After basic training in Georgia, he was assigned first to the 666th Tank Destroyer Battalion in in Gainsville, TX. In September of 1941, he was transferred to the 801st Tank Destroyer Battalion in Ft. Benning, GA where he spent two years to 1943. He was later deployed with 87th Infantry Division, first to Congleton, England, then to the Bastogne in Belgium when he fought in the "battle of the bulge". The "battle of the bulge" was officially known as the "battle of the Ardennes" and was waged between Dec. 16, 1944 - Jan. 25, 1945. On Jan. 9, 1945, Dick was wounded by shrapnel from an enemy artillery shell, and was awarded the purple heart and also a bronze star. He was transported to a hospital in England where he spent several months in a full body cast. Upon return to US he went to the Convalescent Hospital at Fort Devins, then to Camp Edwards, where he was honorably discharged. Dick joined Springfield Fire Dept on Sept. 3, 1942, and over the years, worked at the Mill Street, Pine Street, and Indian Orchard stations. He attained rank of Lieutenant. Retired on July 16, 1977 after 34 years of service. Dick had many outside interests. He was a self taught carpenter and, on his own, built his first house, a three BR ranch. He was an avid golfer who, in his prime, played to a 10 handicap. He also enjoyed fishing, both spring and summer lake and stream fishing, and ice fishing in the winter. Dick always regretted the fact that he was unable to finish high school because of his Army duty. He was very proud when he was recognized for his service and awarded an honorary high school diploma by Operation Recognition for World War II veterans in Springfield, MA. He was pre-deceased by his first wife, Ruth Isabel (Larkin) Jennings, and his second wife, Pearl Louise (Boisvert) Jennings. He leaves a daughter Barbara Knowles and her husband Rick, and a son Richard Jennings and his wife Janet, four granddaughters, Gail McNee and her husband Murry, Michelle Rohnke and her husband Matt, Neily Jennings and her husband Connor Timmons, and Katelyn Jennings, and a great-grand-daughter Scarlett Rohnke.
Visiting hours for Richard will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at Sampson's Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Rd., Springfield. A funeral home service for Richard will be held on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 12:15 p.m. Rites of Committal and Interment with Military Honors will follow in the Chapel of the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main St., Agawam, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Richard's memory may be made to The Salvation Army, 170 Pearl St., Springfield, MA 01101 or to Holyoke Visiting Nurse Association 113 Hampden St., Holyoke, MA 01040.