Elenita Ann Jennings, 89, Brandon

BRANDON — Elenita Ann Jennings, age 89, passed away Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at her home in Brandon surrounded by family after a seven and a half year battle with dementia that she fought with courage, grace and dignity.

Elenita was born in Brandon on September 25, 1932. She was the daughter of Walter and Florence (Bashaw) Hayes. She was a lifelong Brandon resident, who grew up here and graduated from Brandon High School, class of 1951.

In her earlier years she had worked as an operator for New England Telephone. She later was employed by Brown’s Pharmacy. She was a past member of the Neshobe Golf Club, where she enjoyed playing golf with family and friends. She enjoyed gardening and was an avid hockey and baseball fan.

She married the love of her life Duane (Skip) Jennings October 8, 1956 in Leicester, Vt. They met in high school when Nita was 15 and Skip was 16 and it was love at first sight. However, at nine years old Nita would watch out the window to see Skip delivering milk with his uncle to the store next door and one day told her mother, “I’d like to marry that little boy someday” and 15 years later she did.

They had 65 wonderful happy years together having not spent one day apart. Wherever they went or whatever they did they were always together. Of all her jobs the one she loved the most was caring for and nurturing children. Family was everything.

She is survived by: her husband, Duane, of Brandon; one son, Kevin Jennings and his wife Debbie; a daughter, Luanne Merkert, and her husband Bob; grandchildren Allison Devino (Shawn), Dan Jennings (Brittni), Kyle Merkert (Becca), Chad Merkert (Sevelin) and Mariah Merkert (David); two great-grandchildren Jadyn and Carson Devino; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is also survived by special friends that became family: David and Rene Rubbins Breen of Goshen and their daughters Sarah, Callie, Julianna and Emma, who Elenita loved like grandchildren; and a very special brother-in-law Bertram (Bud) Coolidge.

She was predeceased by two brothers, Thomas Hayes and Walter Hayes, and two sisters, Alice Quesnel and Patricia Martin, and her wonderful sister-in-law Jane Coolidge.

A private graveside committal service and burial will take place at a later date in the family lot at Forest Dale Cemetery.

Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in her memory to: Brandon Area Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 232, Brandon, VT. 05733.

The family would like to extend special thanks to VNA and Hospice of Southwestern, Vt., who provided Nita with wonderful compassionate care throughout this long journey. “You girls are great.”

Arrangements are under the direction of the Miller & Ketcham Funeral Home in Brandon.

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