Cover photo for Helen Marie Jennings's Obituary
Helen Marie Jennings Profile Photo
1932 Helen 2021

Helen Marie Jennings

January 22, 1932 — May 6, 2021

Helen Jennings, lifelong resident of West Branch, 89, devoted wife, loving mother, doting Yaya and great Grandmother, passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 6, 2021, at the Brook in West Branch with her family close by. Helen will be most remembered for her inspirational and remarkably selfless, unwavering and compassionate, lifelong commitment to her family and friends

Helen was born on January 22, 1932 at Tolfree Memorial Hospital in West Branch as the first child of Dr. Earl and Mildred Hasty of Whittemore. The Hasty family moved to West Branch when Helen was in elementary school in order that Dr. Hasty could practice medicine closer to the Tolfree Hospital. Helen spent the remainder of her life in West Branch. She and her siblings, Marge and Jim, spent Summers at Sand Lake in Tawas and eventually as a camper and camp counselor at Camp Maqua in Iosco County. She graduated from West Branch High School in 1950 and enrolled at Michigan State College where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She graduated from MSC in 1954 with a degree in education.

She married William P. Jennings, Sr. on October 15, 1954 in West Branch, where Bill was practicing law. For the next 50 years Bill and Helen were fixtures in the West Branch community and they remained happily married for over five decades.

Helen was at her happiest and proudest raising four boys in West Branch and living at their 234 North 3rd Street. Over the next 20 years, Helens was in her glory with boys and their neighborhood friends, teammates, classmates and families. Mom loved to have the house and yard filled with kids and cherished the wiffle ball games, a swimming pool full of kids, the years at the West Branch Little League field, skiing at Boyne Mountain, and later Ogemaw Heights basketball games and MSU football tailgate parties. She was always there to prepare snacks, bandage skinned knees and bruises, and celebrate wins and to console kids in losses. She was never happier than having a house full of boys watching the Lions or the Tigers in her den. She never missed a game that her sons played and never complained about washing uniforms, sleepovers, cooking late night dinners and wiping away tears.

Helen loved every part of being a Mom. She considered all the kids in the neighborhood to be part of her family. She welcomed each and every one as if they were her own. More than anything, she loved being with Bill and her family and friends celebrating the events of the day and having laugh and a hug.

Helen soon welcomed in to her family four wonderful daughters in law and celebrated over 100 years of marriage with her boys. She adored each of the grandchildren.
Her sons’ activities soon gave way to her becoming the world's greatest Yaya to her nine grandchildren. Her parenting skills were reborn again and she showered her grandchildren with the same affection as her boys. Yaya traveled the country and abroad to spend time with her grandchildren and was she loved the chance to hold another baby and watch a basketball game in the backyard again. In 2020 Yaya became great grandmother for the first time to a baby girl.

Both as Mom and Yaya, Helen devoted her life to her husband and her family and friends, especially making sure kids of all ages felt cared for, cared about and loved.
Helen was predeceased by her husband, William P. Jennings, Sr. and son William P. Jennings Jr, parents, Earl and Mildred Hasty, siblings Marge Hasty Fletcher and Jim Hasty.

She is survived by Jim (Jenny) Jennings, Pete (Martha) Jennings, Chris (Kathy) Jennings, Sue Jennings, Grandchildren Pete, Sarah, Alex, Gretchen (David) Bruner, Spencer, Gus, Beau (Paige), Annelise and Marielle Jennings. And one great grandchild, Sierra Bruner.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, July 12, 2021 from 4-7PM at the Highway Brewing Company 209 W. Houghton Ave., West Branch, MI 48661.

Memorial contributions can be made to the West Branch Public Library.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Marie Jennings, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, July 12, 2021

4:00pm - 7:00 am (Eastern time)

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