Francis "Gopher" Jennings

February 4, 1945 ~ December 19, 2020 (age 75)


Francis Marion Jennings, also known by many friends and family as “Gopher”, passed away peacefully from this life on Saturday evening December 19, 2020 at the age of 75. 

Francis was born February 4, 1945 in Iowa City, Iowa to Ernest and Geraldine Hays Jennings. After graduation, he served in the United States Navy as an intelligence officer. After an honorable discharge, he worked as a dispatcher for Chicago Northwestern Railroad. In 1974 he married Berdina Palmer of Oelwein, Iowa and was a kind and caring stepfather to “his girls” Lisa and Melodee. In 1976 the family lived in Boone Iowa and then moved to Utah in 1979 when he changed to Union Pacific Railroad. 10 years later he moved back to Omaha, Nebraska for a short time to work for Chicago Northwestern again. After retirement, Gopher moved back to Blockton, Iowa to be close to his mother Geraldine and to help her so she could continue to stay at home. He always loved the little town of Blockton, where he knew some people even since elementary school, and Blockton loved him. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to people in the area that needed it and his daughters are sincerely appreciative of the love and support he was given throughout the years by his pastor, friends and neighbors. (We would especially like to thank Ed Hobbs, Scott Marcum, Connie Drake & her brother John, and Danielle Pearce for all of their help and support before and after his death.) He loved music and could be frequently found listening to CDs or playing his guitar and singing in the front yard wherever he lived. He also loved to play various sports, and watch them on TV, including basketball, baseball, skiing, tennis, frisbee and especially golf in his later years. He was  a fun-loving, gentle, sweetheart of a guy. He commonly referred to all the women he adored in his life as “Hon’” or “Darlin’,” including all the dedicated hospice nurses that took care of him during the last few months. He will be greatly missed by all who had the blessing of knowing him.


Gopher was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Geraldine, his brothers Clyde “Ed” & Gerald (infant), stepfathers Paul Myers & Raymond “Buck” Weaver, Donald “Buck” Weaver, and one step grandson. He is survived by his stepdaughters Lisa (Michael) Miner & Melodee Gallegos, four step grandchildren, and five great step great grandchildren. He also loved his little wiener-dog Clem who has graciously been adopted by another loving family. He also leaves behind many more half and step relatives that live in the surrounding areas including the relatives of his brother and stepfathers:  Donna Wilson, Don Vondracek, Rhonda (Jeff) Quick, Paul “Bill”(Marcella) Meyers, Charlotte (Jim) Pearce, Charlene (Keith) Pearce, Darlene Fry, Mike Pearce, Mark Pearce, Lee (Danielle) Pearce, Greg Pearce, Shendel Pearce, Mary Weaver, Connie (Earl) Drake, & John (Deb) Weaver.


There are no scheduled services at this time. Arrangements are under direction of Prugh-Dunfee Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. 



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