Cover photo for Major David W. Jennings, USMC Retired's Obituary
Major David W. Jennings, USMC Retired Profile Photo
1948 Dave 2023

Major David W. Jennings, USMC Retired

September 19, 1948 — July 21, 2023

Havelock

Major David W. Jennings, USMC Retired, 74, of Havelock, passed away on Friday, July 21, 2023, at Carolina East Medical Center.

His funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2nd at Munden Funeral Home in Havelock, officiated by Rev. Johnnie L. Wright II. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, August 1st at Munden Funeral Home In Havelock. For those unable to attend, the service can be viewed through their obituary page on Munden Funeral Home’s website. The service will remain on the Funeral Home website for 90 days.

Dave was born on September 19, 1948, in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, to the late William and Joan Jennings.

Dave proudly served his country by spending over 28 years (9/27/1965 – 11/2/1993) in the United States Marine Corps as a Weather Observer / Weather Forecaster SNCOIC/OIC/XO/CO. He was a dedicated and courageous individual who exemplified the core values of honor, courage, and commitment that define the Marine Corps ethos.

Those left to treasure his memory are his loving wife, Patricia Suess Jennings, of the home; daughter, Dana Gurzenda (Lenny) of California; sons, Chris Jennings of California, J.R. Garner of Newport, Bobby Brown (Kellie) of Missouri; brother, Bill Jennings (Donna) of Ohio; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; along with his nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandchild, Matt Brown.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in David’s name to your favorite charity.

Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at www.mundenfuneralhome.net

Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home & Cremations in Havelock, NC.

Following is a tribute to Major David W. Jennings, USMC (Retired) written by Brian Donham:

We mourn the passing of Major Dave Jennings and celebrate his life by remembering all the good times we had and the life lessons learned. Dave proudly served his country by spending over 28 years (09/27/1965 - 11/02/1993) in the United States Marine Corps as a weather observer/weather forecaster/SNCOIC/OIC/XO/CO.

My first encounter with Dave was in June of 1972 when I reported to the Marine Aviation Training Support Group at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, NJ for duty as a student in the Navy/Marine Corps Weather schools to learn how to be a weather observer. He was an extremely squared away Staff Sergeant and lived up to his reputation as a highly motivated and energetic instructor in the classroom.

I next encountered Dave in California in 1977 at Marine Corps Air Station (Helicopter) Santa Ana when he reported in to the Weather Office as a new 2nd Lieutenant for duty as our Officer In Charge. He was a demanding but fair leader and took great pride in taking care of his Marines, while ensuring we had what we needed to accomplish our day-to-day mission. I believe he has the distinction of being the last Weather Officer to go directly from enlisted to officer overnight without any formal training. It was always fun to watch and listen when Dave was interacting with someone, especially when he was in the right. When his aviator-frame eyeglasses got pushed up onto his forehead, it was time to hang on and watch and listen for some profound, witty, biting sarcasm was bound to hit his target, making his point and ending the conversation. Also, during this period, if he felt he needed to go see some senior person face to face to defend his position or stand up for one of us, he would jump on his Honda Gold Wing, and would watch as this 125 pound ball of fire sped off on his trusty ride! When I left there I had orders to Iwakuni. My wife was in the Air Force at the time and the best we could hope for would have found us stationed about 400 mile apart on mainland Japan. He worked his magic while I was home on leave. He got my orders switched to Futenma, Okinawa and she could be stationed about 8 miles away at Kadena AFB. He was one of the best OICs I ever worked for in over thirty years.

During the intervening years I only saw him once at MCAS Beaufort, SC SC when he came down to conduct an IG Inspection on the Weather Office. He was professional and knew what he was looking for, and was in and out quickly without any wasted time.

When I reported in to Chanute AFB, IL for Instructor duty, he was the Executive Officer. He was fair and went out of his ways to treat all Marines of the Detachment fairly, so as not to show any  favoritism towards the Weather Marines over the other MOSs working there get. I was the Public Affairs Representative and the Command Historian/Photographer under his command, and I can't overstate the amount trust & confidence he showed me. Some of his proudest moments were the Marine Corps Birthday Balls he organized and oversaw, when he was the Commanding Officer. Many times again we got to see his glasses casually moved up to his forehead and we were treated to his rare biting wit and sense of humor or fear of God chewing out. After he had transferred from Chanute he contacted me about where I wanted to go after leaving Instructor Duty.

I wound up stationed here and retiring to stayed in Havelock, so I would frequently see Dave out and about here, We enjoyed some Weather Reunions and occasional get togethers here with a small group of Weather Marines. Dave was one of the very few Marines that has been around almost my whole career. It has been over 51 years since it taught me about Weather and being a Marine. One thing for sure, there was nobody else who had as much influence on my life!

"God speed! Always be a Marine! Semper Fidelis!”

MAJOR DAVID W. JENNINGS USMC (RETIRED) 09/19/1948 - 07/21/2023

Highlights of Major Jennings time in the Marine Corps Weather Service:

After attending Boot Camp and Infantry Training, Dave attended Aerographer's Mate "A" School at NTTC Lakehurst, NJ. Following graduation, he was stationed at MCAS (H) Santa Ana, CA until he next transferred to MCAS(H) Futenma, Okinawa.* Coming back from overseas to MCAS (H) New River. He went back to Lakehurst for AG "B" School to become a Weather Forecaster. He transferred back to MCAS (H) New River, NC, and then to MCAS Beaufort, SC. He returned to Lakehurst, NJ for Instructor Duty. He also underwent training as a Drug Counselor while there.

Leaving Lakehurst as a Gunnery Sergeant he reported to the Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico for duty as a Forecaster. After promotion to 2nd Lieutenant, he transferred back to Santa Ana. Leaving California as a 1st Lieutenant he reported back to Futenma, Okinawa. Transferring next to Headquarters Marine Corps for duty as Director of Meteorology and Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Meteorological Matters. Following a successful tour at headquarters, by now Captain Jennings reported to Chanute AFB, IL where he served as the Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer. He then transferred to MCAS Cherry Point, NC for his final tour, serving as Station Weather Officer.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Munden Funeral Home & Cremations

908 Lake Road, Havelock, NC 28532

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Munden Funeral Home & Cremations

908 Lake Road, Havelock, NC 28532

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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