Paul David Jennings, 53, died Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in a 4 wheeler accident. It appears that Paul “blacked out” while negotiating a curve in his driveway and struck a parked vehicle. His passing was instantaneous.
Born at a U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Paul’s accomplishments are numerous. His high school pole vault record stood for years. He was top of his graduating class at Spartan Aeronautical School. Paul carried the relay torch for a distance in the 1989 Olympic Festival in Oklahoma. He served for years as a volunteer fire fighter, became an EMT, and eventually served as Peggs fire chief. He also served as a highly respected union chairman for his local at American Airlines. He served over 25 years at American as a maintenance control technician (troubleshooter) and was always a welcome voice to techs on the other side of the phone.
He enjoyed his “hobby job” as an agricultural crop duster, making the most challenging aspects of the job appear easy. In 2009, Paul earned the title of “National Glider Aerobatic Champion” in the unlimited class. His amazing 4-minute glider aerobatic “freestyle” event earned him third place overall in the nationals, and he received a rare standing ovation at the awards ceremony by the best pilots in the country. By all accounts, this is the first time a glider competitor has ever placed in the Nationals overall. Amazing! Other accomplishments include building his own two-story house, two hangars, a runway in his yard, the list goes on and on. Paul could perform complete teardowns and show quality restorations to any machine, car, motorcycle or plane and make it look simple (a genetic trait from his parents).
Paul’s most valued asset was that he was always “family first.” He was very loving and protective of his family and their lives together. His favorite thing in life was spending time with his wife and two boys. Nothing could ever supersede that, providing for, caring for, and enjoying any time spent with them. If there has ever been a “One For All” man, it would be Paul, ceaselessly giving of himself for the benefit of others, especially his family. His attitude was always positive, confident, focused, and lined with good humor. He really loved his family.
Rarely does the loss of one create such a large loss for so many. Perhaps, one of the largest tragedies goes to anyone who will never get the chance to meet him. He was an exceptional individual and will be sorely missed.
Paul is survived by his wife, Suzanne; his sons, Chad and Lance; his parents, Paul and Sandy Jennings of Locust Grove; his brother, Terry of Burlington, N.J., as well as numerous other relatives. He was loved by everyone.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday Nov. 9, 2013, at Hart Funeral Home, 1506 North Grand Ave. Paul will be cremated, as per his request. There will be an opportunity for anyone to share their thoughts or memories of Paul at the memorial service. For further information, log on to www.hartfuneralhome.net
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Peggs Fire Department, P.O. Box 180, Peggs, Okla., 74452. Include “In Memory of Paul” with the donation. Cash or check donations will be accepted at the Saturday memorial service. Credit card donations will be accepted by phone at (856) 764-1144 and forwarded to the fire department. Please leave return phone number if there is no answer. A return call will follow.
Hart Funeral Home, 1506 N. Grand, (918) 456-8823.