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Rick Lavern Jennings

October 18, 1946 ~ February 10, 2019 (age 72)

Dr. Rick L Jennings, 72, of Iowa Falls, IA passed away in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family Sunday, February 10th, 2019 of complications from cancer. A Celebration of Life service will be held this summer in Iowa Falls at a date to be determined.

Rick was born on October 18, 1946 to Cecil “Lou" and Estelene (Fry) Jennings in Ames, IA. He attended school in Iowa Falls and had many fond childhood memories of adventures along the river, cruising main street and running the projector at the Met Theater. He met Cindy Eggers, his “partner in crime,” at Ellsworth Junior College. They were married in Iowa Falls in 1968.

He and Cindy relocated to Independence, Iowa where he worked in the Children’s unit at the State Mental Health Institute. Rick graduated from the University of Iowa with a Ph.D. in Psychology in 1975. The same year he established his own private practice, the Counseling and Assessment Service, providing mental health consultations, relationship counselling and evaluations touching many lives throughout Eastern Iowa. He taught at Wartburg College and the University of Northern Iowa. Rick served as President of the Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) and was recognized for his outstanding service with the IPA Meritorious Achievement award. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa for his successful multi-year effort on passage of legislation enabling insurance coverage for psychological services. He served on the the Board of Directors of the Independence Community schools and convinced his sons he was the Duncan Yo-Yo champion of 1965. Since retiring, Rick and Cindy have split their time between Iowa Falls and their home in Anguilla.  

Rick enjoyed “messing about in boats” on the Mississippi and singing “Good Vibrations” in his ‘57 T-Bird. He built tree houses in the country, rope swings on the river, and tropical gardens in the Caribbean. He was a true Goonie who possessed a childlike enthusiasm for life, quick wit, and a caring spirit.

Rick is survived by his loving wife of fifty years, Cindy; two sons, Chad (Heesoo) of London, U.K., and Shawn (Wendy) of Seattle; mother, Estee Jennings of Iowa Falls; brother, Randy (Joan) Jennings of Iowa Falls; granddaughter Zadie Jennings of London; and a workshop full of complete and in-progress projects. He was preceded in death by his father Cecil (Lou) Jennings; and sisters, Becky and Beth. He is also survived by many friends who will join his family in greatly missing his songs around the campfire, happy hours on the beach, and good stories well told.

Memorial donations may be directed to The Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, MA (traumacenter.org); or the William R. Bliss Cancer Center at the Mary Greeley Foundation (mgmc.org/mgmcfoundation/donate).

“Someday we'll find it; The Rainbow Connection; The lovers, the dreamers and me.”  

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