Ernest Ray Jennings CORNELIUS - Mr. Jennings, 92, formerly a resident of Raleigh and North Wilkesboro, N.C. died on July 12, 2013 after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Alethea Anderson Jennings, formerly of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and Raleigh N.C. who died in 2005. He is also preceded in death by a brother, Rex Jennings of Wilkesboro, N.C. He is survived by a daughter, Rebecca J. Frost and husband Clifford of Huntersville, NC; sons Jeffrey B. Jennings and wife Pam of Charlotte NC and Spencer B. Jennings and wife Kathy of Durham NC; grandchildren: Angela J. Thornton and husband Will of Raleigh, NC, Scott Jennings of Mebane, NC, Jacob Frost and his sister Leigh Ann of Huntersville, NC, Kaitlin Jennings and brother Roman of Durham, NC. Great grandchildren: Amber, Tyler and Ammon Thornton of Raleigh and Draven Jennings of Mebane. Also surviving, a brother, Max Jennings and wife Clara Mae of Wilkesboro, NC and a sister, Joann J. Brewer and husband, Leon of North Wilkesboro, NC. Ray was born on December 23, 1920 in Wilkes County, the son of the late Bura L. and Ethel Walker Jennings. He is a graduate of North Wilkesboro High School and Southern Technical Institute in Chamblee, GA. At the start of WWII, Ray enlisted in the US Army Air Corps and was assigned to a B17 Bomber Squadron and served in England, North Africa and Italy. At the end of WWII, Ray was employed by Combined Insurance Company and remained with them until his retirement in 1985. Ray was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, who left an indelible mark on all who knew him by his genuine kindness and generosity. Being exceptionally gifted with woodworking and carpentry, Ray treasured creating things, such as toys and furniture, for his children, grandchildren, and friends. Ray was passionately loved and cherished by all of those around him, and he will be greatly missed, far beyond what mere words can express. A memorial service will be held at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius on August 10 at 11:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, send a donation in Ray's name to Mission Fund, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 19600 Zion Ave., Cornelius, NC 28031.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Aug. 3, 2013