1961 — 2010
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Mark Dresden Jennings was born July 18, 1961 in Orcutt, Calif., where he attended local schools. He began a career in the trucking industry at age 16. In the early nineties he bought The Historic Hotel Leger, a 13-room bed and breakfast boutique hotel, located in the foothill town of Mokelumne Hill in California’s Gold Country. During this time, Mark was elected to the Board of Directors for the Mokelumne Hill Fire Protection District, where he also served as Chairman of the Board for one year.
After selling The Hotel Leger, Mark and his parents settled in the town of El Dorado, Calif., where Mark managed a 22-unit mobile home park and a five-unit apartment complex on behalf of his parents.
Mark’s life passion was flying. He logged numerous flight hours in various kinds of aircraft. On any given day he could be found at an airport surrounded by his many friends. He was most happy while working on his airplane, or assisting his friends with their planes. He never knew a stranger. He was always exchanging stories with a new found friend about his travels throughout California, his flying adventures, tales of the Reno Air Races or camping and fishing with his friends.
Mark could never say “No.” He was both giving and gracious in his work with the El Dorado Community Hall, where he served on the Board of Directors, for four years. His favorite activity was hosting backyard barbecues for family and friends. He specialized in Santa Maria Style Barbecue recipes and never failed to prepare the best tasting meat anyone ever had the pleasure to sample. His barbecues included hilarious stories and endless jokes and fun was had by all who came to share in the simple but yet sanctimonious pleasures of conversation and BBQ.
Mark is survived by his mother, Bobbie Jennings and fiancée, Veronica Price, both of El Dorado, Calif.; his sister and brother in law, Yosif and Linnie Simiryan of Charleston, W.V.; his brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Debra Jennings; his aunt and uncle, Jay and Mert Walker; his beloved god-parents, Emile and Velma deSolminihac, all of Orcutt, Calif.; and cousins, Jeff and Daryl Walker, Holly Balch Locatelli and Heather Balch Moratti. He was preceded in death by his father, Earl John Jennings; grandparents, Dresden and Pearl Norris; and uncles, Frank and Kent Balch.
Family and friends were devastated by Mark’s untimely and unexpected death on Nov. 3. 2010. With his passing, the world changed for those who knew and loved him. There are no words to express how deeply he will be missed. In his memory, donations can be made to his favorite charities: St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, MDA/Jerry’s Kids, or The Salvation Army.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and May 29, 2011, at the El Dorado Community Hall in El Dorodo, Calif. Bring your camp trailer and your favorite “Mark story,” along with your best barbecue, rub or bean recipe. Please email photos, stories and RSVP’s to [email protected]
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air …
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr.