February 15, 1929 ~ August 3, 2021

Born in: Buncombe County, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Frances Clark Jennings was born on February 15, 1929. Her parents were Frances Binford Garlic of Asheville, NC, and Dewitt Hudson Clark of New York, NY. Frances had one sister, Mary Eyre Durfee, who preceded her in death.

Frances married Richard Gundry Jennings, Jr., from Pittsburgh, in 1951. After Frances and Dick married, they moved to Cashiers, NC, where he farmed mink and trout. They lived in a small house which Dick had built in 1948.

Frances took on the duties of wife and mother and made a wonderful home. That house was not only the one in which she would raise her three children, but it also served as a refuge to friends of the family, many of whom would spend summers and school breaks there working on the farm, living with the Jennings. There was never a lock on her door. Frances filled the house with love, warmth, and laughter.

Frances attended St. Genevieves of the Pines in Asheville and The Fassifern School for Girls in Hendersonville, prior to attending St. Mary’s College in Raleigh, NC. She married right after that, spending the first eight years of marriage in Cashiers where she became an integral part of the community. She served on the altar guild at the Highlands Church of the Incarnation and The Church of The Good Shephard in Cashiers where she and Dick attended as a family all the years they lived in Cashiers.

While the children’s formal education was in Asheville, Cashiers, especially “Lonesome Valley,” would always be considered home to the Jennings family.

While living in Asheville, Frances immersed herself in volunteer work with the Junior League and later The Children’s Welfare League, which her mother had a part in starting at its inception in 1923, sewing clothes for an orphanage on Merrimon Avenue.

Frances, like her parents, sang in the Trinity Church Choir and served in other capacities at Trinity as well.

As an offshoot from her Trinity involvement, she was asked to sit on the board of Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community in the late 70s during its early years. She could not have foreseen that she and Dick would move there in 1999 and enjoy 22 years as residents.

A friend to many, she was always ready to lend a listening ear, and give words of hope and encouragement. Those that knew Frances would say “You’ll never meet a more genuine or loving person.” Kindness was her essence and she will be missed by all.

Frances is survived by her three children, Sally Hudson and her husband, Charles, of Cashiers, Dick Jennings, of Asheville, and Binford Jennings, of Asheville. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Wes Eason and fiancée, Ryn, Ben Eason and wife Anna, Katie Hughes and husband Clay, Richard Jennings IV and wife Sarah, Sarah Kowalski and husband Jim, Corbin Jennings and fiancée Julia, Rachael Jennings and partner Chelsea, Nick Sievers, Tim Sievers and fiancée, Emily, and step-granddaughter, Ellie Hudson; and 11 great-grandchildren: Wes Fleischer, Taylor, Mollie, and Emory Eason, Henry and Bennett Hughes, Edward and Richard Jennings V, Grayson, Crosby, and Clementine Kowalski.

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 13, 2021, from 4:30-6:00 PM at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. The funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Asheville, on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 9:30 AM with a coffee reception immediately following the service in the courtyard of Trinity. The graveside service will be held at 12:00 PM at Calvary Episcopal Churchyard in Fletcher following the coffee reception.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Frances’ favorite charitable organization in Asheville, the Children’s Welfare League (www.cwl-asheville.org).

Services

Visitation: August 13, 2021 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704

(828)687-3530
http://www.grocefuneralhome.com

Funeral Service: August 14, 2021 9:30 am

Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801

828-253-9361

Graveside Service: August 14, 2021 12:00 pm

Calvary Episcopal Churchyard
Hendersonville Road
Fletcher, NC 28732


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Guestbook

  1. Dear Binford, Carol and I are sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing and want you to know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I was very fortunate to have had the pleasure of meeting your Dad on several occasions, and your Mom was obviously a real treasure as well. Enjoy being surrounded by friends and loved ones at this time, which is also very much a celebration of a wonderful life!

    Reply
  2. All of us were saddened by the passing of Francis. She was a very kind and loving person, and it was our privilege to have known her. We send our deepest sympathy and love to the Jennings family.
    Most sincerely, George and Gail Kowalski, Jeff and Kim Marino and family

    Reply
  3. A strong and loving family starts with wonderful parents. God bless your family and enjoy one another. Our thoughts and prayers for peace to your family.

    Bill & Susie

    Reply

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