Honoring the Life and Service of Mrs. Reva Mae Jenningsby Representative Rob Woodall
Posted on 2015-12-18
WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the time.
At 1:00 today, back home in Georgia, we are going to lay to rest Reva Mae Jennings.
Reva Jennings is an institution in my part of the world, Mr. Speaker. This photo here, you can see, is in the midst of a parade. She helped to found the Republican Party in Forsyth County back when it could meet in a telephone booth. She used to say that she never minded being the only one who was right in a room.
From the moment I decided to pursue this position, Mr. Speaker, Reva has been a fixture by my side. She passed away a week ago in a traffic accident.
She graduated from the University of North Carolina, Mr. Speaker. And even though she was passionate about Georgia, she was passionate about her Tar Heels. If I had a Tar Heel blue suit, I would have worn it down here to the floor today in tribute to her.
She defined her life by passion, Mr. Speaker. She has had every leadership position you can imagine in the Republican Party in our part of the world; president of the Georgia Federation of Republican Women, Mr. Speaker. She earned the title of Republican Woman of the Year. She traveled as a delegate from Georgia to the Republican National Convention.
She believed in our community. She believed in our party. She believed in America.
[[Page H10700]] Mr. Speaker, I came to know Reva through her political activities, but they did not define her. Passion defined her, and there is nothing that she was more passionate about than her family.
The wife of Dr. Bruce Jennings, Mr. Speaker, who passed away far too soon, the mother of three, the grandmother of her beloved grand twins.
Mr. Speaker, the entire community is gathering this afternoon to say goodbye. It seems so cliche to talk about folks who are irreplaceable, but Reva truly is.
You can't put a marker on commitment, Mr. Speaker. There was never a responsibility, never a responsibility in the community that Reva didn't step up and say: Pick me. It characterized the community.
As Forsyth County became one of the fastest growing counties in the Nation, Mr. Speaker, her commitment was contagious.
When car accidents take our loved ones, Mr. Speaker, it happens when you least expect it. No one was prepared to say goodbye to Reva. No one had said all the things that they had to say to Reva.
But she used to pull me aside and take a picture out of her wallet, show me that beloved dentist that she married back during the Vietnam War. It was a picture they had taken in Hawaii, as I recall.
I never remember her dating. She never remarried. She said: ``Rob, I got it right the first time.'' As the entire community is struggling with Reva's loss, this is the image that I am left with, Mr. Speaker. She has waited decade upon decade to be united with her beloved husband, Bruce, and today, Mr. Speaker, we lay her to rest so that they can be together with their Maker once again.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Jennings family.
I yield back the balance of my time.