Obituary: Henry Jennings was Bee editor for 32 years

11/23/2012 12:00 AM

11/22/2012 11:16 PM

Henry G. "Hank" Jennings, a newspaperman who spent more than 30 years as a wire editor and copy editor at The Bee, died Nov. 17 of a stroke, his family said. He was 85.

Mr. Jennings joined The Bee in 1959 and worked for a short time as a reporter before moving to the copy desk. As wire editor, he monitored wire services and attended daily meetings with top editors to choose stories about national and world events for the front section of the paper.

With a college background in literature, he had a strong command of language and a broad knowledge for spotting factual errors in stories. Steady and reserved in nature, he also was a leader in the Newspaper Guild.

He retired in 1991.

"Even after retiring, he'd catch the news three or four times a day, read the paper and watch CNN," said his son James. "I always gave him an almanac for Christmas because he liked to know about the population and things in different countries."

Mr. Jennings was born April 5, 1927, in Erie, Pa. His mother raised six children at home while his father ran a business retreading tires and published a local news sheet. At 17, he enlisted and served four years in the Army.

He earned a degree in English and economics at Gannon University and took graduate courses in English literature at University of Pittsburgh. He also studied French, German and Russian, which came in handy in later years on trips to Europe.

He worked as a sportswriter and reporter at the Erie Daily Times.

He moved to Southern California and was a reporter for the San Pedro Daily News Pilot before settling in Sacramento.

Mr. Jennings is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Maxine Longmuir; five children, Jeffrey Jennings of Citrus Heights, Mary Jennings of Roseville, and Anne Marie Kolstad, Sarah Jennings and James Jennings, all of Sacramento; a sister, Dorothy Gregory of San Diego; and four grandchildren.

A visitation is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 30, followed by a rosary at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, at St. Mary's Church, 1333 58th St., Sacramento. A Mass of Christian Burial is set for 10 a.m. Dec. 1 at St. Mary's Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Church.

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