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February 19, 1952 ~ January 25, 2024 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Sherman Allen Jennings, born Feb. 19, 1952 in Point Pleasant, Missouri, departed this life on January 25, 2024 at his home in Mesa, Arizona. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ella Gray, and grandmother Lena Jennings. He is survived by Diane, his spouse of 40 years; daughters Stephanie and Allison; sister Lorraine Jones; maternal aunts Cannie Jennings and Jeanette Childs; and special cousin, Coretha Crawford; along with nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. A devoted father and husband, Sherman put his love into action by ensuring his family always had the best.
Sherman was raised in the close-knit rural community of Lilbourn, Missouri where his grandmother and others set high expectations for him. He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. He excelled in school, graduating 3rd in his class from Lilbourn High School in 1970 (although he would argue that he should have been 2nd). He matriculated to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri on a Presidential Scholarship and was a cadet in the U.S. Army ROTC program. After graduating summa cum laude from Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management, he joined the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, New York. He was honorably discharged in 1978 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In 1980, he received a Master of Science degree in Industrial Management from George Washington University.
Life was an adventure for Sherman. Part of his adventure included nine relocations across the country for HR/Compensation positions at GE, Lockheed, Johnson & Johnson, and Boeing. In 1996, weary of the corporate treadmill, he became a Mobil Oil franchisee--a job where he helped many people with a range of automotive issues. It was also where he developed lasting friendships. During this time, he served as a Denton County, TX Land Commissioner and later held a public-private liaison position with the Arizona Commerce Authority, while employed as the Boeing Mesa Site HR Lead.
In 2014, he retired from Boeing, continuing the great adventure with motorcycle tours through the Pacific Northwest, New England, Maine and the Upper Midwest, and elk/deer hunting and fishing wherever the fish were biting. Prior to retirement, he abandoned a doctorate degree he was completing to eventually focus on his AZ General Contractor License which, to him, was a far greater achievement than any efforts toward his doctorate.
With a quick wit and Mensa intelligence, Sherman loved meeting and interacting with an eclectic mix of people. One of his favorite passions was mentoring, particularly with young people or those just beginning their career. More than a few affectionally called him "Uncle Sherman."
His friendly nature, insight, and knack for fixing things endeared him to many. An avid collector and hobbyist, he amassed unique collections, including vintage guns, Harley memorabilia and model cars. The ultimate project guy, he spent hours working on his motorcycles, boat and truck while planting trees and flowers; building ponds, patios, gardens and doing other handyman jobs.
Roll on, Uncle Sherman. Thank you for the goodness you brought to the world. You will be missed!