Patrick Joseph “Joe” Jennings lived his life with vibrancy and grace.
He came into this world on Jan. 24, 1960, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the fourth of four siblings. His mother deemed him her “joy pill,” and anyone who had the privilege to know him knows he wore the title well.
Peacefully and in the company of family, he left this life on Dec. 19, 2018, in Rockville, Utah, after a long struggle to recover from complications from surgeries meant to repair an old sports injury.
From the first sips of coffee and a bite of peach jam spread over toast, he would carry joy and happiness throughout his whole day. He loved and was made whole by the life he lived: He deeply adored his wife and children, he loved his restaurant and took great pleasure and satisfaction in cooking wonderful food for other people.
We saw him smiling with an all knowing nod of living the good life, he was ever grateful for the dream life he lived. He was a fair and conscientious man, loved by the family he made at the Bit & Spur Restaurant, where anyone who worked or ate there came to know it was a special place.
Joe was astounded by the beauty of Zion Canyon, by the pleasure of hot rocks and of a cool dip in the river. He loved to exert himself out on the roads and trails on runs and bike rides. He loved finding new music and enjoyed playing guitar and singing in his impassioned and soulful voice; he was a voracious reader of everything from novels to magazines to the pages of the morning paper.
He shot an excellent game of pool and loved sports, and in sitting with him and watching a game, you could not help but be infected by his passion and cheer.
You knew you were in good hands when you were with Joe: He put his special touch on everything, from making dinners to creating celebrations, vacations to lazy Sunday mornings with family. He was beloved by his wife and children, his friends and family, his neighbors and employees. His zest for life, his contagious smile and his bright, ringing laugh will be deeply missed.
Joe grew up in Santa Barbara, California. He graduated from Bakersfield High School and attended San Francisco State University before heading to Zion Canyon to live in Springdale and Rockville, Utah.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Barbara Jennings Hollister, Wilson Kenneth Jennings M.D., and J.J. Hollister III. He is survived by his beloved wife Patricia “Trish” Farnsworth Jennings, his children Hank and June Jennings, and his siblings Bill Jennings, Matt Jennings, Sara Jennings Pelton, Scott Hollister, George Hollister and Cate Wallenfels Hollister.
Please honor him by reaching out to others, by letting your eyes sparkle, by daring to live your dreams. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local NPR station, to Doctors Without Borders or to the charity of your choice.
Come celebrate Joe’s life with us on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. at the Bit & Spur Restaurant.
For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Serenity Funeral Home online.
Arrangements and memorial tree planting by the Cremation Center of Southern Utah, 435-986-2085.