Michael Jennings (November 11, 1983 - July 24, 2014).
Michael Jennings, a man of passion, joy, and humor, died suddenly on July 24, 2014 following a stroke. Born on November 11, 1983, he grew up with his mother, Donna McManus, and brother, Christopher, as an unabashed Ann Arborite. He was always curious, an explorer of the natural world with a visceral connection to the earth and a deep love for animals. Mike grew into a man of strong opinion and spirit who was known for his wonderful smile, his compassion, and his genuine interest in those around him. He found joy and laughter in those every day moments many of us miss, and delighted in human foibles. His warm presence and engagement led to many cherished friendships. He listened to each of his friends closely, and was likely to quietly show up with just what you needed before you knew you needed it. A voracious reader with keen interests in science, history, cooking, farming and politics, Mike could often be found in lively discussions with friends, acquaintances, and visitors to Ann Arbor at the Den in Grizzly Peak. He was a familiar sight on the streets of Ann Arbor as he worked for local real estate management companies, and frequented the 'townie' shops he held so dear. Each Saturday, he could be found bantering and shopping at the Ann Arbor's Farmers Market. Food and organic farming were Michael's passions. He read widely and deeply, contemplated and experimented with food, farming and spirits, becoming an extraordinary cook. This summer he planted his gardens with special care, knowing that in October, he would be leaving to begin a year's study at The Farm School in Athol, MA in preparation for starting his own Ann Arbor farm and creamery. Michael is survived by his mother, Donna McManus, brother, Christopher (Allison) Jennings, father, Charles J. Jennings, and his life partner, Elizabeth Wagner. He was preceded in death by their son, Francis M. Jennings and by his uncle, Dennis McManus. Mike is also survived by his dearly loved pets, and is romping in heaven with Maizie and Persephone. A memorial service and celebration of Michael's life will be held at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market at 2 PM on August 14, 2014. If you can join us, please bring a small stone you have collected in your travels. All are invited to join in a toast to Mikey with a special brew at the Den in Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, 6-8 PM, August 18, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market in honor of Michael Jennings, City of Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation, 315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
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