Ennenga, James Lewis
James Lewis Ennenga, P.E., of Knoxville, TN, formerly of Omaha, NE, died peacefully at home on August 2, 2013, with his family at his side. Born on April 4, 1923 in Lennox, SD, to Henry and Nettie (Loomer) Ennenga, he grew up in Rapid City, SD. Mr. Ennenga 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, IN, and Jim and Ruth raised their 5 daughters in Omaha. 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, TN, where they were members of Bethel United Methodist Church, where he served as lay leader. Mr. Ennenga enjoyed traveling back to cheer the Nebraska Corn-huskers 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 70 years, and a member of both Rapid City Lodge #20 and Powell, TN Lodge #582. He was a rock hound, lapidarian, and a 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 3 to 4 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 30 years in Omaha, and no other honey could 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 him are his wife, Ruth, with whom he recently celebrated 65 years of marriage; daughters, Mary (Larry) Richling of Omaha, 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; and Joel (LaVerne) Parker and many more grand-nieces and nephews. Mr. 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 5-7pm on Sunday, August 4, at Click Funeral Home on Middlebrook Pike, with 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, at 1pm in the Lennox, SD 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
9020 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37923
This obituary was originally published in the Omaha World-Herald.
Published by Omaha World-Herald on Aug. 4, 2013.