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AUBURNDALE - Joey Jennings, age 32, of Auburndale, Florida died Thursday, June 10, 2010 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center of respiratory failure.
Joey was a lifelong resident of Florida. He graduated from Rutherford High School and attended Polk Community College for two years. He was engaged to be married to Grace Arizala of Quezon City, Philippines. He planned a trip to unite them in July, 2010.
Joey was born with spinal muscular atrophy. This gave him many challenges to face for most of his entire life. He never let the many obstacles he faced daily stop him from attending regular classes at school, joining in any activities he desired and living his life the fullest way possible.
He had an early love of sports which included being a mascot on many little league teams. As he grew up he was heavily involved in high school basketball and football, attending every game on the team bus and sitting right on the sidelines with the team as well. He had such an acquired knowledge of any sport and athlete's statistics which challenged most individuals. His love of sports lead him to become a "sneaker head" and included quite a collection of nearly every pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes. He was fascinated with style, clothing, colors and had a unique style of flair when it came to his clothes all of his life.
His lifestyle taught many to look at their lives differently. He loved people, music, crowds and being anywhere interesting. He volunteered at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he shared his knowledge and experiences with patients facing unknown challenges for 11/2 years.
He is survived by his mother Lisa Shelton and her husband David and his father Wes Jennings of Orlando. Other survivors include step-sisters Stephanie Collins of New York, Tasha Kahelin of Arizona and grandparents Eleanor and Joe Cerminaro of Florida.
Family will receive friends on Monday, June 21, 2010 from 5-7pm and a Celebration of Joey's Life at 7pm at the funeral home chapel. Graveside service will be Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 10am at Auburndale Memorial Park, Auburndale, FL.
Arrangements handled by Central Florida Casket Store & Funeral Chapel, 2090 East Edgewood Dr. Lakeland, FL.
Joey would have enjoyed colors being worn to his Celebration of Life.
Published in Ledger on June 18, 2010