Virginia Jennings

November 11, 1931 ~ May 18, 2024

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Virginia “Jenny” Lemmons Jennings

Born at home, Margaret Virginia Lemmons, in the Osborn Community of Oktibbeha County on November 20, 1931, Jenny was delivered by Dr. Jim Eckford, father of Dr. Feddie Eckford. She grew up in the Osborn Community and started school at the age of five. She went to school through the fourth grade in a one-room schoolhouse that had one teacher, who taught eight grades in one room. After consolidation, riding the school bus to and from school, Jenny began the fifth grade at Overstreet School in Starkville. She graduated from Starkville High School in 1949, when she was seventeen. An honors graduate, Jenny was presented the Bible Award at Starkville High School. There was one church in Osborn, Presbyterian, so that is where Jenny attended and joined the church when she was eight years old.

After graduation, Jenny went to work for Security State Bank as Secretary to the President. She met Wade Andrews who worked at Wier’s Drug Store across the street from the bank. They began dating in 1949 and were married in 1951 after he graduated from college. One month later, Wade was called to serve in the Navy in the Korean War for a year. Upon his return, the couple moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Wade worked for McKesson and Robbins Drug Company, and Jenny worked for First National Bank of Memphis. The couple lived in Memphis for eight years where their first two children, Andy and Donna, were born. Wade and Jenny returned to Starkville where their third child, Melanie, was born.

Back in Starkville, Jenny went to work for the Comptroller at Mississippi State University for a year before being called back to Security State Bank. At Security State Bank Jenny worked as a teller before being promoted to Assistant Cashier, Assistant Vice President, and ultimately Vice President and head of Loan Operations and Paying and Receiving Tellers. Later in her career, Jenny completed her 44 years in banking at the Bank of Mississippi, retiring from there at the age of sixty-five.

In 1971, at the age of forty, Jenny found herself a widow with three children, ages fourteen, twelve, and five, to raise on her own. She had to move to the role of mother, father, and sole provider at an age that most individuals would have a very difficult time accomplishing. At the time Jenny found herself in this life predicament, her daughters were attending a private school. Jenny worked hard and continued their education there. In addition to private school tuition, her children participated in extracurricular activities including dance, cheerleading, band, swimming, and piano lessons. She worked tirelessly sewing uniforms, as well as darling outfits to keep her girls in the highest of fashion. Jenny worked to put all three children through college. The children participated in an array of activities there as well, including sororities and the like. All three children graduated college with no burden of a student loan to face upon graduation.

Jenny joined First Methodist Church in Starkville in 1961. There she was involved in various groups including Woman’s Circles, holding the job of Treasurer, Bible Study Groups, the Attic Sale and Holiday Bazaar, and various luncheons and decorating committees. In addition to her volunteer efforts at church, Jenny was a member of a line-dance group that entertained at nursing homes around the Starkville Community. She also delivered Meals on Wheels to shut ins. Jenny served as Treasurer of the Starkville Woman’s Club for many years as well. She was also very involved with the Phi Mu Mother’s Club, volunteering to help wherever needed. Jenny worked for over twenty-five years as a volunteer with the Oktibbeha County Hospital Auxiliary. She provided several services to the hospital including working at the front desk, participating in activities and sewing hospital gowns. Due to her countless hours there, Jenny was awarded Volunteer of the Year at the hospital in 2009. In 1971, Jenny was elected the first woman Alderman-At-Large for the City of Starkville.

Most importantly, Jenny loved her family. Holidays were her favorite times of year. She made every Holiday extra special. Jenny loved watching Mississippi State sports, especially baseball, and was a member of the Dugout Club and Bulldog Club.

Jenny is preceded in death by her husband, Wade H. Andrews, Jr., her parents, Alene Blankenship Lemmons and Jesse Lemmons, her sister, Dora Edna Lemmons Betancourt, and her brother Jesse Lemmons. She is survived by her three children, Andy (Libba) Andrews, Donna (Brian) Sims of Starkville, and Melanie (Johnny) Jordan of Madison; her three grandchildren, Wade Sims of Starkville, Colby (fiancé Pratt Rogers) of Madison, and Josh (Claire) Jordan of Jackson; one great grandson, Drew Jordan of Jackson, one brother William “Bay” Lemmons of West Memphis Arkansas, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jenny passed peacefully away on May 18, 2024. Visitation will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with the funeral service following at 11:00 a.m. Welch Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to New Journey Global Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1791, Starkville, MS 39760, or the Wesley Foundation, 1172 Lee Blvd., Starkville, MS 39759.

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