Obituaries

 

David Reid Jennings

Passed 09/08/2020

Obituary for David Reid Jennings

Sadly missed, David was the first-born child of the late Douglas and Betty (Blakney) Jennings. He was welcomed into the world at Halifax Grace Maternity Hospital. He passed away on September 8, 2020 in Halifax after an exceptionally brave battle with the aftereffects of a motorcycle accident three years previous.

David’s parents moved to India as missionaries when he was four years old. Growing up there and in Canada gave him an opportunity to develop a wide worldview that stayed with him through the years. David was a successful radio and TV news personality early in his career. His ability to distill underlying patterns and meaning in events, and share his insight, carried him to his final work as a media relations officer for Fisheries and Oceans Canada - a job that he genuinely loved.

All who knew David will recognize that he loved to recount his adventures, plumbing the depths of his remarkable memory, stories often accompanied with wit and laughter. His love of music, as performer and musicologist as well his immense collection and knowledge of the art, will not be forgotten.

David leaves behind his wife Holly, son Austin, sister Rebecca (Bert), two nieces Aine and Ari, brother Andrew (Monique), nephew Eli, brother Christopher (Pamela), nephew Walker, dear friend Lisa, and several cousins.

Thank you to all who visited David during his hospitalization - that meant the world to him. Also, thank you very much to the staff of the Halifax Infirmary, and especially 7.3, who became like family.

A celebration of life will be arranged at a future date and notifications made public.

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Such a debonair photograph of David. Good choice - as he moved with a certain swagger. A born communicator was he, so befitting a Gemini. The manner in which he dealt with the accident was truly inspiring; a real testament to his brilliant mind. I shall miss that knowing grin. My sincere condolences to all who rallied with him.
- Cynthia Phillips
I met David not long after I moved to Halifax in the early eighties and I always considered him as a dear friend. I especially enjoyed our music and audio discussions. He was a remarkable local soul and David will be missed by all who knew him. How he found the upbeat way he spent his post accident years is beyond me. Once again, truly remarkable. I think I will go and listen to Within You Without You and reminisce...in mono, of course! Peace.
- Charlie Blair
I first met David in the early seventies when he moved into the apartment at the back of our house in Dorchester. He lived there several years and was definitely a part of our family. Over the years we kept in touch, he was always welcoming and made time for our visits. Always honest with opinions and ready with information, he was a great conversationalist. He was like a brother. I miss him already. Bon voyage David!
- Edward Yeoman
I knew David 40 years ago when he was a fearless ( and funny) group leader in Canada World Youth. Some of us had just reconnected as a group this past summer over Zoom calls. David was a phenomenal storyteller and historian of the group's adventures. He also shared honestly about his recent trials and challenges since his accident, but spoke with optimism about improvements. We had started planning an in-person reunion for next year and I was looking forward to seeing David in the flesh and giving him a great big hug. When this reunion does come to pass David will be warmly remembered and sorely missed. Love to all his family and friends.
- Zoe Richardson
My condolences to the Jennings family. David and I spent 7 months together with Canada World Youth. As a group leader he was confident and funny, always in the know and out front. He encouraged and supported our group both in Canada and Malaysia. His tales of life in India inspired. When I visited him in Halifax on a cycling trip he was a gracious host. We touched base over the years and I enjoyed his occasional late night calls. He was a 24-7 reminder that life could be lived on ones own terms and that it is a great big world out there. Namaskar to an original.
- Terry O'Gorman
David was a fun and positive guy! I am happy to have shared time with David and will have memories of good times! We are sharing in your sorrow as you remember David! I hope the family feels surrounded by much love! Love Dar & Mike.
- Darlene Chappell
I was shocked to hear about David's passing. I immediately connected with him when we first met at DFO and always enjoyed his unique perspectives on life. He was one of a kind and I missed his presence after I retired. My condolences to his family. Happy travels my friend.
- Charlie O'Reilly
Now I understand why David had that strong will to live although he was physically broken. I have learned through the obituary and notes of condolence that he was all about mind, words, stories and music. It makes perfect sense now. My sincere sympathy for your loss Andrew, Monique and family. David was so brave. With love, Lynne
- Lynne Lenihan
My heart goes out to David's family, he was a lovely, thoughtful person. Fair well.
- Derrick Daniels
David had flair, humour and true sense of fairness and justice. David was reliable, knowledge and honest. Those characteristics along with his media background made him an excellent public affairs officer. I worked for many years as a reporter and when it came to doing stories on the fisheries, you could always count on David. Always. He returned calls and to the most extent possible, his answers to questions were thorough. He gave as much information as possible and that was available. Not in a drip, drip fashion. He understood deadlines. He was loyal to DFO without depriving reporters of information they were entitled to. David was superb at his job. On a personal and personality level, David was easy to get along with and like; had a wonderful sense of humour and broad range of interests. He was dapper and unique. David was a rare gem and will be missed. I was very sorry to learn of his passing. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. You stood with the best, David.
- Rick Grant
David was by far the coolest person I have ever met. I was always very pleased when he came to my annual Christmas party on West Street as I knew that he could keep us entertained with his charming wit, and just to claim to know him was a source of pride for me. He was a first class act, and I'm certain he will be sorely missed. My condolences to family and friends.
- Ann Mech
I worked with David for a few years when weboth worked at the CCG when when it was on Portland Street . He was a great guy and we used to RAZ each other as we had similar types of humour . I am very sorry to hear of his passing . My sincere condolenses to his family Dennis R Bedley
- Dennis Bedley
David was an eccentric person, with many hilarious and fun stories. I miss working with him, his high kicks, wisdom and passion for life. His love for music and performing always shone through. Deepest condolences to all, he is greatly missed.
- Mary Mitchell
David was one of a kind and he was always up to something interesting. When I met him while doing a communications co-op at Marine House I immediately liked him. His unique approach to life shone through right from the moment I met him. I attended one of his media relations courses and thoroughly enjoyed it. He was a compelling speaker and engaging teacher who built everyone up. He really made you feel like you had the ability to be a great spokesperson. I hope to one day have the same fearlessness, sense of humour and confidence David had. That's a life well lived. Condolences to his family and friends who miss him deeply. I will not forget him.
- Regis Dudley
Very sorry to hear of David's passing. I worked with him at Marine House (DFO). He was always very good to meet with and had stories that would make your problems seem minor. A great communicator with the ability to to have fun and make your day interesting. May he rest in peace.
- David Marsh
Having retired in 2007 and lost contact, I was not aware of David's accident so was shocked to see his obituary. I was one of David's "clients" at DFO for many years and from the very beginning knew I was dealing with a very special person. He excelled at his job which he carried out with a high degree of competence and integrity. He had a sharp wit; a great sense of humour and he could write! David was truly one of my favourites. My heartfelt condolences to his family for their loss, Carl Goodwin
- Carl Goodwin
When DJ had his accident and was forced into retirement (way too early) we shared a cubicle wall at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. His sudden departure felt like a huge whole in our office landscape. David always made things so interesting. His stories about life, love and rock and roll kept us on our toes. I loved how David completely got me and wholeheartedly accepted me. He always spent time getting to know the real me and he never seemed to judge me for being so unique. It's colleagues like David that make work enjoyable. Even when we weren't having fun, David reminded us to lighten up and put on some music. What an amazing mentor! One of my absolute favourites! I miss him dearly. My sincerest condolences.
- Jazmine Hayden
My thoughts are with the family. Many times, if it weren't for David's brutal honesty, advice and absolute desire to help, managing my way through some challenging situations would have been much more difficult. I had total trust in David in regards to dealing with the media, and considered myself very fortunate to have such great support! RIP David!
- Cindy Webster
Thank you David for enriching my life with your friendship. Your assistance when dealing with the media when needed was much appreciated. You were an asset and friend to the front line Fishery Officer. You will be remembered.
- Kim Seto
David had a wealth of knowledge, talent, and experiences. He eagerly shared these resources to assist others. As an outgoing person, he had many friends and aquaintances. His ability to keep a positive attitude over the past three years is remarkable. Condolences to David's family, and loved ones. RIP. Carl Myers Former coworker, DFO Communications
- Carl Myers
Holy, Austin - Cathy, Ben, Tom and I are greatly saddened by this news a feel deeply for you. You were family when the boys were young... David and I always had a lot to talk about with our shared love of family, music, motorcycles, and travel. Keep well
- David Mosher
I was fotunate to know David for about 40 years, having first met him when we worked together at CHNS radio. Our paths crossed often as we both pursued careers in the federal government. We often worked on common files and I always enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with a long-standing colleague. I will truly miss David and treasure the memories I have of him. The most colorful memory I have is when we went into a small Indian restaurant in Bangor. David spoke with the staff in fluid Hindi which astonished them. We had the best Indian meal I have ever had. Rest well old friend.
- Jon Stone
I really enjoyed working with David during my time at DFO 20 years ago. There was never a dull moment. One of my favourite memories was doing a Beatles duet with David at a karaoke party at a managers' retreat. I think we sang "Help", complete with harmonies. Another was when he spoke to former Minister Dhaliwal in Hindi (I think), causing the ministerial handlers conniptions. Great fun. Rest in peace, David. Condolences to David's family.
- Scott Verret
So very sorry to hear of the loss of David. I always enjoyed our little talks when we all took our breaks. He was always one of those folks you looked forward to seeing and was always glad he showed up. He was greatly missed at DFO after his accident. He was always stand-out and great conversationalist. My condolences to his family, friends and all those who he touched.
- Paulette General
It felt as if I'd known David forever - we didn't work directly together at DFO, but we spoke often. His acerbic wit, great intelligence, curiosity about the world around him, and his sometimes VERY clearly expressed opinions were part of what made him the unique soul that he was. He had a depth and breadth of knowledge on many subjects and had an unusual ability to either occupy ALL the space in a room - or stand there quietly, observing, so that you might not have noticed he was even there. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your husband, father, brother, uncle, friend... He has left a mark on those who knew him that won't be forgotten. May his memory be for a blessing.
- Bobbi Zahra
Although I didn't work with David directly, I ran into him often at Marine House and BIO. He was always cheery and ready to converse. He was a great guy and I'm so sad to hear of his passing. We will meet again some day. Condolences to his family and friends.
- Sylvia Leckie
I met David when he was teaching a course for DFO on handling media interviews...His wealth of stories and down to earth suggestions made the course fun and interesting. He was well respected and appreciated in DFO circles, and his music ability was always a hit when he played at Christmas Parties and other times!
- Greg Croft (DFO)
David was a cut above many and a lovely person.I remember our chats on Quinpool road and how David always had a way of seeing the positive in all conversations.Even those years when David was in the hospital,his bright mind,sharp wit and positive attitude was always front and centre. You will be missed by all. Gerry Whelan,Hfx.
- Gerry Whelan

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