John Jennings

John Hyler Jennings, age 92, of Chippewa Falls, WI passed away peacefully Friday, April 7, 2023 of congestive heart failure at Mayo Clinic Health Systems – Eau Claire with family by his side. He was born at home June 11, 1930 in the township of Garden Valley, Jackson County, Wisconsin to Paul and Myrtle (Larson) Jennings.

A funeral service was held Monday, April 17 at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, Chippewa Falls with Rev. Brad Thomas officiating. Interment with Military Honors was held at Forest Hill Cemetery, Chippewa Falls.

John married Betty (Plunkett) Jennings July 26, 1975, and was a wonderful husband and the best ‘dad’ Betty’s six kids could have asked for. Betty and John moved to Waukon following their marriage. John had previously married Dorothy Storlie September 26, 1955. He lovingly adopted Dorothy’s son, Terry. Dorothy passed away after 19 years of marriage.

He attended a one-room school house in Dodge County. In 1948, at the age of 18 (his junior year of high school), he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO and Whittier, AK as a finance clerk during the Korean Conflict. John served his country for four years (3 years, 11 months, and 14 days – to be exact, as he so often was) and was a member of the American Legion Post 77. He took pride in serving his country and often reminisced about his experiences.

Following his honorable discharge, John began his work career. He was employed at Chippewa Plastics and Presto and then began his 37-year management career at Schultz Brothers Dime Store. He would begin this career at Schultz Brothers in Chippewa Falls, WI and retire from Schultz Brothers (later to become Ben Franklin) in Waukon in 1992. Upon retirement, John and Betty returned to their hometown of Chippewa Falls, WI to be near family.

John loved to be active in society, therefore continued working after his retirement. He was a maintenance supervisor at several places, among them the Rutledge Home in Chippewa Falls. Some of his most enjoyable years of retirement were the 17 years he worked at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls. In his later years (after he really retired), we often took him for rides through the fairgrounds so he could see things that remained the same and the progression of anything new. He and Betty would often go for drives and he would share with her fond memories of his old stomping grounds in Chippewa Falls and Lake Hallie. Upon leaving any function, he could be heard saying, ‘Go warm up the car, Betty!’

His mind was a ‘steel trap’ as he recalled specific dates and names of people he encountered throughout his lifetime. He had longtime close friends in both Chippewa Falls and Waukon and enjoyed chatting and sharing memorable stories with loved ones. He loved his Wisconsin sports teams and always looked forward to watching the Packer, Brewer and Badger games. Yard work was a favorite past time of John’s. In the later years he had to take more breaks while working in his yard, but he loved to be outdoors. Sam, his black miniature poodle, was very special to him.

John had a large extended family whom he loved and who loved him dearly, and he is survived by his wife, Betty; his children, Bethany (Larry) Ketchum, Jean (Joe) Bernier, Brian (Robin) Plunkett, Karen (Pete) Saltness and Kristine Selberg; his grandchildren, Ben (Amy) Madson, Rachel Prince, David (Jennifer) Prince, Ryan Selberg, Tara (Scott McCord) Ketchum, Steven (Sonja) Ketchum, Scott (Cory) Anderson and Stacy (Mike) Nelson-Martin; and his great-grandchildren, Carter Madson, Elon and Oliver Prince, Skyelar Friedeck, Sydney Ward, Solvi and Ivar McCord, Rylee DeMao, Harley Martin, Baylee Anderson and Payton Nelson. John had many nieces and nephews that he held close to his heart.

John is preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Dorothy; his sons, Terry Jennings and Patrick J. Plunkett; his sisters, Dorothy, Bette, Marian ‘Peggy’ and Bernice; and his brother, Jerry. He is also preceded in death by two sons-in-law, Steven Madson and Joel Prince.

John, you were a God-given gift to our family and will be sadly missed, but joyfully remembered as there are so many heartfelt thoughts and existent things to spark those beautiful memories. Thinking of your humorous one-liners will always give us a chuckle. Love is ‘to will the good of others’ and you did this so well and without reservation. Thank you, John. We love you and will always feel your love. Rest in Perfect Peace in the arms of Jesus.

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Chippewa Falls is serving the family. Please share your memories of John and condolences for his family online at