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JAMES LEWIS ENNENGA

Obituary
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  • "Ruth and family, I was saddened by this news, but so happy..."
    - Tom, Deb, Tommy Hintz, Linda and girls Short, Carole and Wally Olson family

ENNENGA, JAMES LEWIS, P.E. - age 90, of Knoxville, formerly of Omaha, Nebraska, died peacefully at home August 2, 2013, with his family at his side. Born April 4, 1923, in Lennox, South Dakota, to Henry and Nettie (Loomer) Ennenga, he grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota. Mr. Ennenga was graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines in Civil Engineering, and received his master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, and was part of the liberation of the Philippine Islands. He was married with love to Mary Ruth Sherrell on June 20, 1948, in Gary, Indiana. Jim and Ruth raised their five daughters in Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Ennenga had a long career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, and after retiring in 1978, taught construction management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, retiring as an associate professor, emeritus in 1988. After his retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Ennenga moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where they were members of Bethel United Methodist Church, where he served as lay leader. Ennenga enjoyed traveling back to cheer the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and the UNO hockey teams. Jim Ennenga was one of those rare individuals who pack more interests and living into life than most of us. He was a Master Mason for seventy years and a member of both Rapid City Lodge 20 and Powell, Tennessee, Lodge 582. He was a rock hound, lapidarian, and master silver and gold smith who enjoyed presenting his wife and daughters with stunning and original pieces of jewelry. An Eagle Scout, Mr. Ennenga supported scouting all his life and guided many young men to become Eagle Scouts. He was an avid gardener and enjoyed growing and hybridizing irises, including "Ruthie Girl", named for his wife; Heather Ann, Erin Anne, Nettie Leonetti, and his most recent introduction, Oxmoor Hills, a dark purple iris that blooms three to four times each year. Ennenga was an iris judge and member of the Omaha and Eastern Tennessee Iris Societies. He also was an accomplished vintner, and his family and friends enjoyed his wines and his extraordinary champagnes. One of his favorite hobbies, indeed avocations, was collecting apple parers and he was well known as "Apple Jim" to his Apple Parer Enthusiasts (APES) buddies. He enjoyed hunting, fly fishing, tying flies, and camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota his entire life. He was a charter member of the Eastern Nebraska Gun Club and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, and also a fine gunsmith who was particularly good at gun checkering. He kept bees for more than thirty years in Omaha, Nebraska, and no other honey can match the taste of the fine clover honeys his bees produced over the years. He also was a ham radio operator (call sign K0GOC) and welder. In his later years, he developed an expertise in fountain pen repair, and especially enjoyed the fine Estebrook fountain pens. Surviving are his wife, Ruth, with whom he recently celebrated 65 years of marriage; daughters, Mary (Larry) Richling of Omaha, NE; Wilma (aka Winnie) Ennenga of Flagstaff, AZ; Susan (Randy) Haskell of Columbus, NE; and Diana Jeanne Thraen of Knoxville, TN; grandchildren, Erin Richling, Sarah Haskell, Emily Thraen, Bradley Richling and Paul Haskell; great grandsons, Connor and Callan Haskell; and many nieces and nephews, including Todd (Dani) Ennenga, Kathy (Ted) Otto, Shirley (Frank) Mann, Loretta Tolliver, Billy (Amy) Sherrell, Jimmy (Kimberly) Sherrell, Kenny (Anne) Parker; Joel (LaVerne) Parker; and many more grand nieces and nephews. Ennenga was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Benjamin and Benard Arthur Ennenga; his daughter. Nettie Leonetti; and granddaughter. Heather Richling. Visitation: The family will receive friends and relatives from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Sunday, August 4, 2013 at Click Funeral Home on Middlebrook Pike, sermon by Reverend Jack Sills from Bethel Methodist Church, followed by a Masonic Service. Interment: Family and friends will gather for graveside services on Thursday, August 8, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. in the Lennox, S.D. cemetery. He will be buried with full military honors by the Navy Honor Guard and interred in the family plot. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Jim to Bethel UMC, 5955 West Emory Road, Knoxville, TN 37931. Click Funeral Home Middlebrook Chapel is serving the Ennenga Family. www.clickfh.com








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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Aug. 3 to Aug. 4, 2013
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