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Published: Wednesday, 10/7/2009

Union painter was WWII vet

Richard L. Jennings, 89, a union painter who was an officer and board member of his local, died Monday of congestive heart failure at his cottage on Cub Lake near Hillsdale, Mich.

He retired in the early 1980s from Local 7, Painters and Allied Trades, of which he was a vice president. He was a member of the local's apprenticeship committee.

"He had good communications with people," said son-in-law Robert W. Hites, Jr., a retired union painter.

His daughter, Jill Hites, said: "He was plain-spoken and outspoken. His motto in life was, 'Just follow your common sense.'•"

Mr. Jennings, of South Toledo, worked on the former Dana headquarters, Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant. He donated his labor to the Sight Center and the Toledo Zoo.

He grew up in Elmore and Woodville. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.

He married the former Evelyn "Tizz" Weber in 1938. She died in 2005.

Surviving are his daughter, Jill Hites, brother, Jack Jennings, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and three step-great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow in the Bersticker-Scott Funeral Home. There will be no services.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Hospice of Hillsdale County.

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