Thursday, March 18, 2021

Quite a legacy

"Quite a legacy" - that doesn't even come close.

I received the full obituary for Yvo Jenniges, age 94, of Belgrade and formerly Glenwood and rural Pope County. Yvo passed away on Sunday. He is deeply missed by his entire family. The upside: he is now re-united with the love of his life, Trudy, who passed away eight years ago this month (March 21, 2013).

At the time of his passing, Yvo had 39 great-grandchildren. Many of them are students today at B-B-E schools. (I'm gonna count them's a lot!)

**Update: of the 39 great-grandchildren, no less than 17 are currently or will be students at B-B-E schools. That's absolutely amazing.

Yvo and Trudy farmed in Gilchrist Township from 1970 into the 2000s after farming for three years on a farm south of Sedan in Chippewa Falls Township. Their 59-year marriage was blessed with nine children. The eight oldest were all graduates of Brooten high school. The ninth child, Margery, was a member of the B-B-E Class of 1991. Their eldest child, Pauline Segaar, was instrumental in the tremendous growth of the Fine Arts programs at B-B-E high school in the 1990s and 2000s. Books could be written about her. If you knew Pauline, you knew one of the greatest women to ever live in our community. Bar none. Tragically, cancer took her from us in 2016 after she battled the wretched disease for 10 years.

I could also write volumes of stories on Trudy, who was a force of nature in her own right. Her contributions to the B-B-E area were endless, including time with the local theater and writing community. Fun fact: one of Trudy's poems is in the U.S. Library of Congress!

I have to get back to other work, but before that, I want to also give mention to another of Yvo and Trudy's children...the second-youngest, Benita, who graduated from BHS in 1985. Known in my life as "Mrs. Otterness"...she married Todd Otterness, whose dad, Allen, graduated from Brooten in 1954. Mrs. Otterness directed plays and taught English at B-B-E from 1990 through 1996. She was hired at Alexandria schools in 1996, where their three children attended school and eventually graduated in the 2000s. If you enjoy my writing, you can give a fair amount of thanks to Mrs. Otterness! (When I make a grammar or punctuation mistake, blame me!)  

I could write all day about the contributions of the Jenniges family to our B-B-E community. We are extremely blessed and fortunate that back in the late 1960s, Yvo and Trudy settled up here and made our area their permanent home.

God bless the memory of Yvo and Trudy!

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