Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Jerry Wilson Jennings, Lt. Colonel USAF (Retired)January 16, 1934 – February 20, 2020
Lt. Col. Jerry Wilson Jennings, retired United States Air Force, age 86, left this earth to join Our Savior on February 20th. He passed peacefully in his sleep at The Pointe of Cedar Park, Texas. Jerry was born Jan. 16, 1934, in Gaffney, SC, to Woodrow Wilson Jennings and Mabel Lillie May née Martin. Jerry was the second of 7 children: Catherine, Jerry, Ivan, Pat, Becky, Mike, and their step-sister Colleen.
In 1958, Jerry met the love of his life, Elizabeth Rosamond Brown née Garley. They married Dec. 20th of that year and loved each other dearly for the remainder of their lives together—they were married, and adoring each other, for 52 years.
Jerry joined the Air Force at age 18 and spent his early years as a Navigator. He was chosen to attend Officer Training School and went on to become a search and rescue helicopter pilot. Before leaving for Vietnam in 1965, Jerry’s squad was called upon to name the squadron he would be flying and originated The Jolly Green Giant Rescue Squadron to perform combat search and rescue, which still exists to this day. During his service, Jerry piloted the rescue of several downed jet pilots from certain death with no casualties on his team. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, and the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility. Towards the end of his Air Force career, Jerry began training new helicopter pilots to fly. Jerry retired from the Air Force in 1974 and moved his family to Richardson, TX. Until the fall of the Shah, he continued to teach helicopter pilots in Iran as a civilian. Jerry received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Texas-Dallas in 1992. Upon graduating, Jerry and Elizabeth moved to Spring, TX, where he pursued a second career at Compaq Computers as a technical writer. During his time there, Jerry wrote handbooks for many computers and all the help menus for Compaq until he retired in 2002. Upon the passing of his wife Elizabeth in 2010, Jerry moved to Pflugerville, TX to be closer to his children. At this time, he reestablished his bond with the LDS church. Jerry was very active in his faith and participated in a great many activities, but the one closest to his heart was his weekly pilgrimage to the Temple in San Antonio—he made this trip faithfully every Wednesday until his health prevented him.
Jerry is survived by his: daughter Linda Wickus; sons Scott and David Jennings; grandchildren Meredith Lux, Dr. Bryan Gammon, Dalena Heller, Marissa and Jonathan Jennings; great-grandchildren Preston and Madeleine Lux, Brooks and Mila Gammon, as well as twin Gammon boys due in June 2020; his brother Mike Jennings; sisters Pat Reidhead and Becky Speirs; as well as 24 nieces, nephews, great- nieces and nephews. Jerry loved each and every one in his family and did everything he could to bond with them and touch their lives.
Jerry was predeceased by his loving wife, Elizabeth Jennings on June 10th of 2010; his son, Gary Brown on Nov. 24th, 1977; and his siblings, Ivan Jennings, Catherine Sirrine, and Colleen.
Jerry’s Funeral Service will take place on March 7th, 2020 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 700 N Heatherwilde Blvd. Pflugerville, TX 78660. Visitation for the family will begin at 10 AM and open to the rest in attendance shortly after; the Funeral Service will begin at 11 AM.
Pallbearers will be David Jennings, Scott Jennings, Randall Wickus, Bob Watson, Joe Morris, and Steve Easthope. Honorary pallbearers: Mike Jennings and Sam Reidhead.
Jerry’s interment will be held in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA at a later date.
Thank you for remembering our Hero Jerry Jennings—he loved you all.
“The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy of awaiting the faithful.”
—Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“I will miss you Daddy, my Hero. Until we meet again on the other side.”
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