Barbara Steele Jennings, 92, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, Dec. 1, 2019, in Charleston General Hospital’s extended-care wing, with her daughter by her side. She was born April 11, 1927, to Phillip Kitrell Steele and Lucille McCay Steele in Lexington. She joins her beloved husband, John William Jennings Sr., on Dec. 1, 2019. Barbara attended Acona Consolidated School and at her death was the last person living to attend there. She graduated from Lexington High School in 1945 and attended business college in Pensacola, Florida. After graduation, she moved to Sumner.
In Sumner, she met John William Jennings Sr. from Tutwiler, and after he returned from his military service in World War II, they married Oct. 11, 1946. She was a homemaker there and raised three children. Later she worked for Dr. Jack Sartin as a receptionist for 27 years. Her beautiful smile and wonderful personality were the first healing steps for the patients treated at his clinic.
Mrs. Jennings served as an alderman in Tutwiler and was a member of Tutwiler Women’s Club and several church organizations at the First Baptist Church of Tutwiler, where she was a member for 72 years. Before her passing, she was its longest-living member. Mrs. Jennings was known far and wide for her cooking skills and generosity. On any given Sunday, she prepared delicious feasts where everyone and anyone was welcome, with family taking food out to those whose health kept them from sitting at her table. She will be remembered for her sweet spirit and kind heart, never meeting a stranger, treasuring her friends and family, and Coca-Cola.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1987 and her parents, Lucille and Kitrell Steele, and her stepfather, Frank Dyess Cooper. She is survived by her sons, John William Jennings Jr. (Cathy) of Greenwood and Phillip Cooper Jennings of Tutwiler, and her daughter, Luanne Jennings Vance of Tutwiler; and grandchildren Dr. Anna Catherine Nix (Jimmy), Sarah Steele Bramlett (Drew), Margaret Anne Aldridge, Elizabeth Judah Duffy (Dallas), John William Jennings, Phillip Cooper Jennings Jr., Ashley Victoria Jennings, George Ervin “Trae” Vance III (Emily), John Phillip “Jay” Vance, Lauranne Vance Tomaszewski (Steven) and Karen Lee Watts; and great-grandchildren James Elmer Nix IV, John Jennings “Jack” Nix, Tait Cochrane Nix, Thomas Andrew Bramlett Jr., Parker Steele Bramlett, Hudson Young Bramlett, Mary Elizabeth Farish, Cody Franklin Aldridge, Hallie Jade Aldridge, Boek Steele Duffy, Pepper Jolie Duffy, Timothy Cooper Duffy, Rowan Franco Tortorelli, Alexis Steele Vance, Payton Sargent Vance, Steven Vance Tomaszewski, Thad Steele Tomaszewski and Noah Barron Watts.
Pallbearers will be Jay Vance, John Jennings III, Phillip Jennings, Dallas Duffy, Steven Tomaszewski and Jimmy Nix. Honorary pallbearers will be Trae Vance, Johnny Jones, Clarence Jones and L.C. “Jabbo” Horton.
Services will be held at Tutwiler Baptist Church in Tutwiler on Dec. 4, 2019, with visitation beginning at noon and services at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Jason Wright, Dave Jennings and Dallas Duffy officiating. Graveside services will follow at Rosemound Cemetery in Tutwiler. Newsom Funeral Home in Charleston is in charge of the services.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.