Last week at this time I was in Fayetteville, TN making funeral arragements for my Aunt Margaret. She wasn't just any aunt. She was THE Aunt Margaret, known and loved throughout Lincoln County. My husband and I called her Sunday evening after dinner, which was often the time we called. We happily discussed her sheep and her dog Nellie Sue, as we made plans to have lunch later in the week. Less than 2 hours later, the phone rang to tell us she was gone.
Monday evening I sat and wrote the one obituary that really needed to be written.
Jennings, Margaret C., Age 100. August 30, 1908 to February 15, 2008. Preceded in death by parents Claude and Bell (Pickett) Jennings, Brothers William Albin and Henry B. Jennings. Preceded in death by two nieces Jeanette Jennings Williams and Faye Chumley Crocker, daughters of brother Henry and two nephews, Charles and Joe Lynn Jennings, sons of brother Albin, and great nephew, William Claude Talley, son of Betty Jennings Talley.
She grew up on March Mill Road and in 1915 was able to walk down the hill from home to enter first grade at the Egam School, erected on property donated by her father. She graduated from Lincoln County High School in 1927 and attended Bryson College in Fayetteville from 1927 until 1929 when Bryson closed. She graduated from Tennessee College for Women in 1931 and did post-graduate work at Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in Murfreesboro. She was a member of the Classical Club, the Ruskin Liberary society and the class hockey team.
The 1931 Dryad said of Miss Jennings:
“The calm of a beauteous spirit,
The peace of a lovely heart,
Charm surpassing delicate
From common life apart.”
Her first attempt at teaching was in 1931, during the Depression. She was told that her “daddy had a good farm and she should go home and work on it.” In 1943-44, she taught English and Latin at Morgan School, a private school in Petersburg, TN. In the fall of 1944 she began teaching at Flintville High School where, for 30 years, she taught Latin and English and served as the school librarian. She never married, so has no children of her own, but through her teaching and example has left a lasting impression on her students.
In a column of the Fayetteville Observer “50 Years Ago, February 6, 1941 – Did you know that “ The Lincoln County Circulating Library under the leadership of Miss Margaret Jennings is furnishing books to every part of the county.
She is survived by Nieces Charlotte Jennings Forrester, Betty Jennings Talley and Jane Holder McCampbell. Great nephews Bob Forrester, David Talley, James Howard “Bo” Talley, Charles Jennings, Jr., Gene H. Owen Jr., Robert Jennings Williams, William Thomas Crocker, and James Edward Crocker. Great nieces Connie Owen Harvey, Patti Chumley Smith, Claudia Jennings Ikard, Carolyn Jennings Keefer, Ellen Jennings Harris, Lou Ann Talley Watt and Paula Talley Caldiraro. Great, great nephews, Carlos Jennings, Jason Forrester,and Brandon Talley.. Great, great nieces, Christie Caldiraro, Madison Caldiraro, Jennifer Watt, Megan Forrester, Ashlyn Knaur, Jennifer Ikard Johnson, Melanie Ikard Neuman, and Danielle Crocker. Great Great Great nephew Thomas Neumann, and Graham Johnson, and great great great nieces Charlotte Neumann and Caroline Johnson
She would most want to be remembered as a “Teacher.” She lived her life following the rules taught in Titus 3: Speak no evil against any person, Live in peace with other people, Be gentle to others and Be polite to other people. She will truly be remembered for loving people and never seeing the bad in anyone. She was the model of human virtue and was sincere, honest and fair in all her dealings. She remained a faithful member of the Washington Street Church of Christ. Although she is no longer with us, her memory is forever planted in the hearts of those who loved and admired her.
Funeral services Were Thursday February 19th, 11 am at Higgins Funeral Home in Fayetteville.There is a beautiful memorial on their website with memories and tributes written by many who knew her.
She never saw one of God’s creature that she didn’t love. Her life was brightened by many pets, especially her dog, Nellie Sue, and a fawn she named “Precioius.”