Ernest Jackson “Spot” Jennings of Cartersville, Kentucky, passed on to our Lord and Savior on 11/25/2020 at the Hospice Care Center in Hazard, Kentucky, after a long battle with a progressive neurological disease.
Ernest “Spot” Jennings was born in Cartersville, Kentucky, to Howard and Flossie Jennings. He grew up on the family farm and attended Paint Lick High School, where he was a valuable member of the baseball team. After high school, Spot served in the National Guard. He graduated from Middle Tennessee College whereafter he joined the Army as a lieutenant. This led him to his career as an Officer in the U.S. Army where he attended flight school and discovered his passion as a pilot.
While in the Army, Spot lived and visited all over the United States and overseas. He was stationed at Darmstadt, Germany, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Ft. Rucker, Alabama, for example. From 1975 to mid 1976, He was stationed in South Korea on border security detail. During his career, Spot served as a pilot in Vietnam with distinction. He was shot down twice while serving and was credited with saving many ground soldier’s lives. Later in his career, Spot flew helicopters, becoming a flight instructor in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. During his service, he was awarded the distinguished Flying Cross and received multiple Air Medals. He was a proud Veteran and could often be seen wearing his Vietnam Vet Hat, DA NANG.
Spot retired from the US Army in 1986, returning to Garrard County, Kentucky, to build a beautiful home on the family farm, which he enjoyed throughout his retirement. He served on the Garrard County Soil Conservation Board for several years. He liked to travel and spent time in Africa, on the Serengeti Plains, with his high-speed Nikon camera. As those who knew him can attest, Spot had a profound love of golf, working at the Master’s Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, for many years, and even building a Par 1 in his front yard.
He is survived by his beloved daughter, Jacqueline “Chelle” Jennings McManus (William McManus), of Gulf Breeze, Florida, to whom he left a strong appreciation and respect for nature, an invaluable wealth of knowledge and unconditional love. “Dad loved to smile, laugh and tell jokes and stories. He also loved to teach and share his wisdom!”
In addition, Spot is survived by one brother, Carl (Dora Lynn) Jennings of Winchester, Kentucky; a special aunt, Jean (Donald) Lamb of Berea, Kentucky; and other close relatives, friends, and loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews plus the dearest loves of his life, his two grandchildren, Ryan Alexander McManus, a Junior at the University of The Cumberlands and Emma Grace McManus, a Junior at Gulf Breeze High School.
Spot was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Flossie Jennings, of Cartersville, Kentucky; his sister and brother-in-law, Muff and Roger M. Oliver, of Berea, Kentucky; and many other close friends and family.
Due to the pandemic, a private visitation will be held for family members on Friday, December 11, 2020, at Lakes Funeral Home, Berea, KY, limited to 25 persons. A private burial will follow at the Robinson Cemetery in Cartersville, Kentucky with full military honors. Live streamed funeral services will begin at 1 pm on Friday. The family very much appreciates the expressions of sympathy received. In lieu of flowers, they request donations to be made to alzheimers.org , in honor of Mr. Ernest Jackson “Spot” Jennings.