Obituary of Floyd Wilson Jennings, III
Floyd Wilson Jennings, III died peacefully surrounded by his family on Monday, May 15, 2023 after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 69 years old. His family would like to thank the nurses, doctors, and staff at Providence Hospital in Columbia, SC for their compassion and excellent care.
Trip, as he was known to all, was an avid reader and talented woodworker, fisherman, and chef. A passionate collector of books, clocks, coins, and a multitude of other curiosities, he could often be found exploring estate sales, auctions, and interesting road-side detritus in search of treasures. He has left quite the trove for his equally curious children to explore, yet his true legacy lies in his spirit of generosity, thoughtfulness, and deep kindness. Doing for others gave him the greatest joy in life, along with eating and sharing oysters, and he spent his last living days doing just that.
He was a devoted husband to Mary Elizabeth Bell “Lib” of 45 years, and father to Julia Bell Kimsey (Nathan), Thomas Bell Jennings (Annie), and Floyd Wilson Jennings, IV. Trip embraced his role as a loyal protector at an early age when his own father died. A constant teacher, he fostered integrity, honesty, and strength in his own children in the way he approached life. Often with an irreverent sense of humor and great wit, and despite a curmudgeonly disposition at times, his exuberance for life and aversion to pretension and conformity was magnetic. Always authentic, far from loquacious, yet never one to mince words, Trip’s family and friends could count on him to tell it like is (and correct their grammar) – a testament to his love and devotion to those close to him.
He was born in Lancaster, SC on May 30, 1953. In earlier years, Trip spent countless days on the SC coast with his many siblings and cousins, and later, with his own children to whom he bestowed his knowledge and deep love for the ocean and its bounty of life. Trip earned his bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the College of Charleston after serving in the Navy and initially attending The Citadel for college. He owned a fishing boat and business in Wilmington, NC, where sons Thomas and Wilson were born, and it was not uncommon for him to be out at sea for days at a time. After moving closer to family in Columbia, SC, he turned to his passion for wood-working and remained self-employed for the remainder of his years.
In addition to his wife and children, Trip is mourned by his constant canine companion Shorty, two granddaughters Heidi and Evelyn, and too many family and friends to name. He is predeceased by his father Floyd Wilson Jennings, Jr, his mother’s second husband Thomas Jefferson Bell, and mother Barbara Mengedoht Bell, as well as his beloved sister Ann Jennings Ball and dear friend Curtis Bradford.
A private celebration of his life will be held in accordance with Trip’s preference for little fuss or fanfare. Any memories or stories shared on the online tribute wall are welcomed by the family. In lieu of flowers, you may consider a donation in Trip’s honor to the Coastal Conservation League so that we all may continue to enjoy the SC coast and local seafood for many generations to come.
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family.
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