John William Jennings

John William ("Jack") Jennings John William ("Jack") Jennings, second son of Stephen and Lucie Jennings, was born in Voca, Texas, June 24, 1921, and died peacefully at his home in San Marcos, Texas on January 5, 2013. Jack had his first saddle at the age of only one year and spent his childhood learning cattle ranching in the hill country of Pontotoc and Eden, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1938. The next four years he spent at Texas A&M University graduating in 1942 as a company commander in the cadet corps. He was sent immediately to serve in World War II on the Pacific Front. Entering as a U.S. Army officer, he spent the next two-and-one-half years in the Aleutian Islands off the west coast of Alaska. In April 1944 he was given leave to travel to Colorado Springs to marry his high school sweetheart, Nelross Hiester, the mother of his three children. He spent the remaining months of his tour stateside before his honorable discharge at the end of the war. Beginning as a county agent in Junction Texas, Jack eventually became a successful salesman for Purina Feed Company and moved to San Marcos in 1953. By the age of forty, he had purchased acreage in Caldwell County and had become a full-time independent cattle feeder, his lifelong dream. He remained active until 2010 as a rancher who owned and leased land in central and west Texas, surviving market fluctuations and mentoring many others in his field. A respected man, he was known throughout his life for his integrity, friendliness, and helpfulness. He was active as Deacon, then Elder, in the First Presbyterian Church of San Marcos and informally counseled many who sought his advice. Jack was an avid hunter and loyal supporter of Texas A&M. Until Parkinson's disease forced his retirement in 2011, he continued doing what he always described as "the work I love best". Jack was predeceased by both parents, sister Laura, brother Charles, Charles wife Jane, and his wife of thirty-seven years, Nel. Those left behind to miss him are his wife of thirty years, the former Ruth Wilson, whom he married in June1982, following Nel's death; Ruth's two daughters, Bonnie Long and Becky Hyatt and their families; Jack's children; Jan E. Jennings, John W. (Bill) Jennings II, spouse Carolyn, and Stephen Ross Jennings, spouse Monique Tschurr; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, James Hiester; sisters-in-law, Clara Moss and Jo Ann Holt; nieces Patti Jennings, Layne Stabler and Lee Stanley; nephew Mike Jennings; and numerous other extended family members. The entire family thanks Jack's medical doctors, Jacob's Home, caregiver John Demaree, hospice nurse Emily Birmingham, Odyssey Hospice, and his care team at Hay's Nursing. Love and gratitude are also extended to the many other special people who spent time with Jack throughout his life including the "House of Knowledge" at Pac N Sac in Martindale, Texas. Visitation will be held 5 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday, January 8, at the Pennington Funeral Home in San Marcos, Texas. The next morning, Wednesday, January 9, Jack will be buried in a private ceremony at the Humphreys Cemetery in Martindale, Texas, surrounded by his land. In the afternoon of January 9, at 2 pm, a public memorial/funeral service and reception will be conducted by his son-in-law, the Reverend Greg Long, at First Presbyterian Church in San Marcos, Texas. A reception at the church will follow the service. In memory of Jack Jennings, memorial contributions may be made to a . Arrangements under the care and guidance of Pennington Funeral Home, San Marcos, Texas, 512-353-4311. Obituary and guestbook online at

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jan. 8, 2013