Douglas “Doug” Harry Jennings, Sr. was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, on August 22, 1935 to H. Kenneth and Eleanor Sally Jennings. Doug was preceded in death by his loving wife, Carol, of 58 years. He is survived by his son, Douglas H. Jennings Jr. (Debbie) of Sarasota, FL and daughter Carolyn Hawthorne of Jacksonville, FL; three granddaughters, Vanessa, Stephanie, and Sally; and his sister, Patricia (Ralph) Pike of Baton Rouge LA, nephew Brian (Deanna) Pike of North Palm Beach, FL and niece Charlene (Joe) Pryor Oklahoma City, OK.
Doug attended and graduated from Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, West Virginia. After graduation, he moved to Orlando, Florida where he met the love of his life, Carol Joyce Jennings (Sauerbraun). They were married for 58 wonderful years and had two children, Douglas H. Jennings, Jr. and Carolyn Hawthorne. Beyond his love for his family, Doug was extremely fond of the farm he had in Hillsville, VA. This is where he and Carol raised cattle and spent a majority of their vacations. The Grainger/Jennings farm was his second love. Doug was also an avid sportsman who enjoyed fishing, hunting, boxing, and football. He was a world-class huntsman and a member of the Safari Club International.
Doug was a distinguished member of the United States’ Army’s Military Police during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed at Fort Gordon Georgia from 1956-1957.
Doug was an astute businessman. He attended Rollins College where he focused his studies on business. In 1955, he attended Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He held his internship at Carey-Hand Funeral Home in Orlando, Florida. Upon becoming a licensed Funeral Director, he moved to Hollywood, Florida where he worked for Wadlington Funeral Home.
In 1963, Doug opened his first funeral home (Jennings Funeral Home) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jennings Funeral Home expanded to a second location in Tamarac, Florida in 1969. He continued to grow his businesses with the purchase of Lakeland Memorial Funeral and Cemetery and Jennings/Archway Funeral Home and Good Shepherd Memorial Gardens in Ocala, Florida. In 1992 Doug sold his funeral homes in South Florida, and together with his son, Douglas, operated Jennings/Archway Funeral Home and Good Shepherd Memorial Gardens until it was sold in 1997.
In addition to his extensive career in the funeral industry, Doug was also a proficient real estate developer who had a keen eye for investment, as well as a founding board member of Landmark Bank in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Doug was also generous with his time, as he was actively involved in community service and the growth of volunteerism through various service clubs in Florida. He was a proud 32nd Degree Freemason (Doric Lodge in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), York Rite; active member of the Shrine Club of Ft. Lauderdale; member of the Royal Order of Jesters Court 88; a Rotarian at the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Chapter and he was also a member of the Anglers Club in New Smyrna Beach as well as the SmyrnaYacht Club.
A “Celebration of Life” will be held at Good Shepherd Memorial Gardens, 5050 Southwest 20th Street, Ocala, Florida, on Friday, April 27, 2018, from 12 -2 p.m. with a short service to follow.