James Jennings

James E "Jim" Jennings

Thursday, December 19th, 1929 - Friday, October 23rd, 2020
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Dr. James "Jim" Jennings

Colchester - James Edward Jennings died Friday, October 23rd, at the end of his daily 2-mile walk around the Colchester bike path.

Jim (Dr. Jennings) was born to James and Evelyn Jennings in Brooklyn, NY in 1929. His childhood was, in his words, marked by “enormous freedom” and mischief. He often regaled his daughters with stories of his childhood exploits—such as being a precocious 5-year-old who asked his mother for a nickel to buy ice cream only to use it to ride the trolley with an older friend; or the time he set the bathroom curtains on fire.

As a teenager, he worked a formative stint as a soda jerk. Grownups confided in him and talked about their problems, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of listening and being there for others.

He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1956, and was a pastor at St. Mary’s Nativity in Flushing and Our Lady of Refuge in Brooklyn.

Feeling that the priesthood was not his true calling, he expanded his education, earning a doctorate in clinical psychology at St. John’s University in New York and then completing a clinical internship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx.

His practice in Manhasset, NY was packed from day one. He worked with individuals, couples and families as a marriage and family therapist. In 1992, he was introduced to the Enneagram, a model of understanding personalities, which he enjoyed immensely and understood deeply.

On Columbus Day weekend, 1972, he met Eveline Morrissette. “There she is,” he thought to himself upon seeing his future wife. That weekend he told her that he would marry her; she told him he was crazy. They liked to end this story by saying “we were both right.”

In 1975, they married and moved to Port Washington, NY, where they spent many happy years raising their two daughters, Diana and Kerri-Ann. Three decades later, they moved to Montpelier, Vermont, where he enjoyed walking, skiing, and taking in the surrounding beauty.

In 2012, Dr. Jennings earned another title, Poppy, upon the birth of his first grandchild, Caroline Emerson Clayton. Poppy, along with Eveline (Mémé), cared for Caroline during the week. He would proudly push her in a stroller, or bring her to music classes—a testament to the vitality he possessed as an octogenarian. Being a grandfather was a role he cherished and expanded as his subsequent grandchild, Wilder James Clayton, was born in 2014. When his beloved Eveline passed in 2016, he moved to Colchester, where he lived with Diana and her family. He took great pride in—and was astonished by—the fact that earlier this year, at age 90, he became a grandfather for the third time when his daughter, Kerri-Ann, welcomed a baby boy, Søren Edward Apodaca. Family meant everything to him, and he felt incredibly blessed to spend his older years close to his daughters and grandchildren.

He thought and spoke often (at great length!) about the interdependence we all have on each other. He truly lived with humility and gratitude, seeing Christ in others, and treating all whom he met with love and compassion. May his memory live on forever in our lives and our hearts.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Thursday October 29, 2020 at St. Mark's Catholic Church 1251 North Ave, Burlington, Vt 05408. Arrangements are under the care of LaVigne Funeral Home.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, October 29th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Thursday, October 29th, 2020 11:00am
    St Mark Catholic Church
    1251 North Ave
    Burlington, VT 05408
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Posted at 04:55pm
Writing on behalf of my family and in particular, my mother, Evelyn Jennings McCrossen. We are so deeply saddened to discover the loss of Jim. He was a dear friend and source of lifelong support to my mom from way back in the OLR days. She feels a tremendous loss of friendship and memories. We wish to extend you all our sincerest sympathies. Jim will be remembered with love.

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