Obituary: Richard Kimball Jennings, MD


Richard Kimball Jennings, MD

LEWISTON – Born in Belfast, Maine on January 16, 1928, Richard spent his youth there and in Lewiston, where his father, George H., ran the Littleton Hotel, a four-story old structure on the bank of the Androscoggin River . There were many visits to grandparents, Henry and Pearl Hills, in Northport, Maine with his brother, George and sister, Janey, then and during his high school years at Boys Latin School. from Boston. He entered Harvard College, then enlisted, stationed in Japan in the occupation army from 1946 to 1948. After graduating from Harvard (AB 1950), he entered the Western Reserve School of Medicine. During short summer breaks, he built trails with the National Forest Service and fought wildfires as a smoke jumper in Montana. Graduation (1954) led to a two-year internship at Rhode Island Hospital, followed by a year of family medicine in Bristol, Rhode Island. After a year of general medical practice in Camden and Southwest Harbor, Maine, Richard, his wife Jean, and their children Richard Jr. and Susannah, spent two years in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where Richard served in the US State Department in as an Embassy Medical Officer. Upon his return, he joined the UMass / Amherst Health Department, before entering a four-year psychiatric residency at Boston City and Beth Israel Hospitals. He served as an academic psychiatrist at Mount Holyoke College, and later was appointed professor at Harvard, Boston University, Tufts, and UMass medical schools. He has also practiced medicine and psychiatry in private, as well as at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Westfield Mental Health Counseling Center and Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer, Massachusetts. Returning to Maine in 1997, he was on staff at the Augusta Mental Health Institute, and later at Maine General Medical Center until retirement in 2004. The following years in Fayette, Brunswick and Hampden, Maine , were marked by a deep and all-consuming awareness of climate change and all that it suggests. him, but for his ten grandchildren, Brittany, Erik, Heather, Brian, Nicole, Caitlin, Wyatt, Isaac, Madeline and Carolann. Free time over the years has included training for Peace Corps volunteers, as well as trips to Central Asia, Alaska, and the Caribbean, and biking, including the Scioto River Tour, Pan Mass Challenge and TREK Across Maine. He has volunteered with Beyond War, the Climate Reality Project, LakeSmart Maine and the local soup kitchen in Brunswick, Maine. He served on the planning board and was president of the Lovejoy Pond Association in Fayette. His early affiliation with Montana and the Forest Service continued for many years, as he participated in “volunteer vacations” for trail maintenance until the late 1980s and visited the. 21st century. Richard was an avid gardener, chess player, skier and kayaker, an excellent cook and a talented artist, poet, carpenter and calligrapher. Of her children, five survive. Melissa, daughter of Elizabeth, died at the age of 12 in a carpool car accident in Wilbraham, MA, and Richard Jr., son of Jean, at 42 of a brain tumor. Nathaniel and his family are in New York, Luther and his family live in Delaware. Susannah and Rebecca are in Massachusetts. Angus, his wife Kristen and their daughter Carolann are in Newburyport, MA. From his marriages ending in divorce, Jean Ruth Burbank died in 1983. Elizabeth Jennings Pekkala, mother of Melissa and Angus, survives. His friend and companion, Terre Burke of Topsham, Maine, predeceased him in 2015. Richard was a great animal lover and cared deeply for many loyal dogs (and even some cats) over the years and up. in his last days. On July 9, 2021, Richard died of heart failure at Lawrence General Hospital at the age of 93. A commemoration will be held on Friday, August 27 at 11 a.m. at Glendale Cemetery in Wilbraham, Mass., E. Scott Dow, officiant. Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham, Mass., 01095 is in charge of the arrangements. Donations in memory of Richard can be made to any charity.

Golden Book


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