Jerry Swindell Jennette

July 24, 1950 - February 19, 2023
Jerry Swindell Jennette

First Sergeant Jerry Swindell Jennette reported for duty in heaven on February 19, 2023. He left behind 36 years of distinguished military service in both Vietnam and the North Carolina Army National Guard.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at 11 a.m. at Grace Anglican-Lutheran Church, 1776 N. Market Street immediately followed by a military graveside service across the street in Oakdale Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28 at Joseph B. Paul Jr. Funeral Home.

Jerry was born and raised in Beaufort County. His parents were Apply Jane “Shorty” Alligood and Ivia Thomas Jennette. He joined the Army when he was 17 and turned 18 in Vietnam. While serving as an 82 Air Borne Combat Engineer in Vinh Long Vietnam, he earned three Bronze Service Stars and was promoted to Sergeant by the end of his tour. During his many years in the Guard, he participated in numerous hurricane duties (most notably Hurricanes Hugo and Floyd) and was called to active duty in Operation Desert Storm. First Sergeant Jennette was a truly gifted mechanic and was recognized across the state for acing his shop inspections. He was also in the first American-Moldovan Exercise – Blue Shield 99 where he became great friends with Colonel Alexandr “Sasha” Thoric. First Sergeant Jennette retired from military service in 2005 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his “outstanding leadership, strong work ethic, and superior technical knowledge.” He loved his Guard family and remained close to them throughout his retirement.

Jerry married Judy Meier Jennette on Thanksgiving Day in 1991. Jerry was supportive of his wife’s work and volunteer activities, especially her 20 years on Washington City Council. He would introduce himself as “The First Man of Washington” during her two terms as mayor. He was her biggest cheerleader when she returned to ECU to earn her master’s degree.

Along with his wife, Jerry is survived by his brother Ivia Jennette, his children; Isaac Thomas Jennette, Jason Scott Jennette, and grandson John Jennette. He was preceded in death by his sisters Alice Pearl Johnson, Onnie Nixon, JoAnn Asby, and Betty Lou “Boots” Gardner.

Memorials can be sent to the NC National Guard Association’s (NCNGA) scholarship program – 7410 Chapel Hill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607

Joseph B. Paul Jr. Funeral Service is honored to serve the Jennette family.




Memorial Service

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
11:00 AM

Grace Anglican-Lutheran - Directions
1776 N. Market St
Washington, NC 27889

Committal

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
12:00 PM

Oakdale Cemetery

Visiting Hours

Joseph B. Paul Jr. Funeral Service
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2023
  • 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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  • March 13, 2023
    Carol Duda says:
    Dear Judy, I am so sorry to read of the passing of your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • March 04, 2023
    marc lynn says:
    An American Hero.

  • March 01, 2023
    Kenny Burgess says:
    Ike, I am very sorry to hear about your dad. I hope that God will bring you and your family comfort buddy and if there is anything at all that I can do for you at all, please call me - love you my friend - be good and trust in God.

  • February 28, 2023
    Danny Coward Jr says:
    This world lost a good man. Jerry was always ready to help out. Always had a positive attitude. An AWESOME mechanic, I can remember him helping restore my very first vehicle. God Speed !

  • February 27, 2023
    Joan Padgett says:
    So sorry for your loss. God will give you the strength you need. Hope to see you soon.

  • February 26, 2023
    Steven C. Fuchs says:
    It was an honor to have known Jerry over these past 40 years, and to have served in the North Carolina National Guard with him. He was a true American patriot and a good friend. Jerry and I were among the very few National Guard members (old timers) left who had worked full-time at the national guard armory here in Washington. Jerry always showed and shared his love and devotion to the military, his service in the National Guard and especially to his family. He will be truly missed.. It was an honor to have served with him. Rest easy my friend, you have done your duty!

  • February 26, 2023
    John Hill says:
    Judy tand Isaac so sorry for your loss. Jerry has been in my prayers. I'll continue to pray for his family 🙏💝

  • February 26, 2023
    Randolph Wynkoop says:
    My sincerest condolences. RIP Brother.

  • February 26, 2023
    Randolph Wynkoop says:
    RIP Brother My sincerest condolences.

  • February 26, 2023
    SFC Whitfield Paige (Retired) says:
    My Sincere Condolences to the Entire Jennette Family.

  • February 24, 2023
    Sarah Little Bowen says:
    I’m so sorry about Mr. Jerry. Many thoughts and prayers to all of his family

  • February 23, 2023
    Harry Gautier says:
    Sorry to hear of Jerry's passing.

  • February 23, 2023
    Linda C Clark says:
    Dear Judy, I'm so truly sorry for your loss. What a beautiful pair you two have always been. Friends are here...Call upon us...when you need anything atall...! Blessings and love!

  • February 22, 2023
    Clay Walker says:
    Jerry was a good friend during the years I lived in Washington. We had a lot of fun together. My thoughts and prayers go out to Judy and family. I was sad to hear of his passing, though memories of our friendship makes me smile.

  • February 22, 2023
    Charles & Tracey Allen says:
    Judy and Issac, we are so sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed Jerry.

  • February 22, 2023
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  • February 21, 2023
    LT Colonel (ret) Alexandr S. Thoric says:
    First Sergeant Jerry Swindell Jennette visited Moldova in 1999 at the stage of formation of the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion. and shared his great experience with Moldovan soldiers. That was the first American-Moldovan Exercise – Blue Shield 99. Nowadays the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion executes Peacekeeping Operations around the world but the Moldovan military remembers Jerry's mature advice until now. Those days we became great friends and as a former Combat Engineer Jerry gave me the Gerber- Multi Tool. A few years later in 2002 the Gerber- Multi Tool served me well during the implementation of the Ottawa Convention on the destruction of antipersonnel mines in Moldova (7000 mines by my team) and later on demining operations in Iraq 2003-2004. Many years after my retirement in 2015, I met with Jerry in the United States and showed him the Gerber- Multi Tool and I asked him "Do you remember it?" Then I told him the story behind that Gerber. I wanted to return Gerber to him and Jerry was pleasantly surprised but did not take it, only asked me to share this story with people. First Sergeant Jerry Swindell Jennette was a true soldier and friend, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and a great man. First Sergeant Jerry Swindell Jennette was a true patriot of the United States of America. Rest in peace, my great friend! I miss you.

  • February 21, 2023
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  • February 21, 2023
    Beth Penhollow says:
    I loved talking with Jerry when he'd drop by the office. He was so funny! I'm going to miss him. God bless you, Judy, and your whole family through this difficult time. I so appreciate his service for our country. There is only one Jerry...he broke the mold:) Love, Beth

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  • February 21, 2023
    Billy Apple says:
    Judy My Condolences to you and your Family.Jerry and I were good Friends years ago.I haven’t seen him in a long time.May the Lord Bless and Comfort you..

  • February 21, 2023
    Horace Mayo says:
    We had some great times and adventure's as kids. Fishing and running the old Rambler on our figure 8 track. Occasionally turning it over. You will be missed. Love you always. 💔🙏

  • February 21, 2023
    MSG (Ret) Rydia Spencer says:
    Judy so sorry to hear about Jerry. We shared many conversations and memories. My prayers are with you and the family

  • February 21, 2023
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  • February 21, 2023
    Sherry Gravely says:
    Many thoughts & prayers for you & your family!!

  • February 21, 2023
    Sam Wall says:
    So sorry to hear this. Love to you all...

  • February 21, 2023
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  • February 20, 2023
    Donna Patker says:
    Judy, I am so sorry ! I never had the honor of meeting your husband but he was quite astonishing, and to be sure, full of great stories of his time in service, which I am thankful for!! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Donna Parker

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  • February 20, 2023
    Marian Parker says:
    I will truly miss First Sergeant Jennette. I was very sad to learn of his passing. He was a one of a kind special person and veteran. Praying 🙏 for Judy and the family.

  • February 20, 2023
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