David Dudley Jennings

By Craig Jennings

David Dudley Jennings was born January 15, 1925 at Manhattan, Kansas, to Harry Clayton Jennings and Leona Moore Jennings. He had two brothers, Gerald and Harry Jr. Their mother died from cancer when David was three years old and his family moved to Venice, California, and then to West Los Angeles when David was of school age.

He graduated from University high school. At age 18 he joined the Navy and served as a radioman on the troop transport ship, "U.S.S. Heywood" in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

At the end of the war he returned to the States and earned a bachelors degree at Kansas State University. Upon graduation from college he returned to Los Angeles and joined the family business that was founded by his father, Everest & Jennings, which became the world leader in the design and manufacture of light-weight folding wheelchairs.

He served as president of Jennings Plating Company and vice-president of Everest & Jennings International. In the 1960s and 1970s he designed, built, and operated Mystic Cove Marina, one of the first yacht anchorages in Marina Del Rey, and also operated a boat storage and boat building yard called "Boulevard of Boats" on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice.

He was also an astute real estate investor and developer in West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey. He met his first wife, Donna Yeager Jennings in Los Angeles. David and Donna made their home in Santa Monica, California. They had eight children: Craig, Gregory, Dennis, Joanne, Dianne, Steven, Karen, and Robert.

The Jennings family loved outdoor activities and enjoyed many adventures that included camping, fishing, and travelling. Donna was taken by cancer in 1987.

In 1995 David married his second wife, Rosalyn Goldsmith Jennings. Rosalyn preceded David in death in September, 2020. David passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara, California on December 26, 2020.

David will always be remembered by his family and friends for his kindness, integrity, generosity, and good humor. He is survived by his eight children, twenty grandchildren, and, so far, eighteen great grandchildren.


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