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Obituaries » James Hennings

James Hennings

August 13, 1941 - May 17, 2023

Service Date: May 23, 2023

Church Ankeny Presbyterian Church

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James Marlin Hennings, 81, passed away May 17, 2023, at UnityPoint Hospice – Taylor House in Des Moines, Iowa.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Ankeny Presbyterian Church (317 SE Trilein Dr). Visitation will be held an hour prior to the service at 10:00 a.m. Jim’s final resting place will be at Ankeny Memorial Gardens. The service will be live streamed at https://vimeo.com/event/1437226

Jim was born August 13, 1941, in Davenport, Iowa to Harry and Gladys Hennings, the second oldest of five children. He began his schooling in Davenport before moving to Clinton where he graduated from Clinton High School. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, graduating in 1963. He started his teaching career at Sudlow Junior High in Davenport. It was at Sudlow where he first met Marjorie Humke, and they married in June 1968.

Jim moved to Davenport West High School in 1971 and while teaching there, went on to get a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in 1974. He stayed at Davenport West and served as the head of the math department for a number of years, before retiring in 1997. He taught hundreds of students over the years who enjoyed having a math teacher who could make math fun. He often received letters of thanks from former students, which included student-compiled lists of “Hennings Originals” sayings that he often repeated to classes over the years. He also took great interest in the mathematical ratios of pyramids, which led to him presenting the topic at math educator conferences and beginning a collection of small pyramids.

Jim and Marge had two children, Beth and David, and Jim’s life revolved around them. He almost never missed a softball, baseball, volleyball, basketball game or band concert over the years. He continued to enjoy following his grandkids, with their athletic and musical interests over the years.  It is fitting that one of his last memories will be of watching a video of his grandson competing at the Drake Relays.

Jim was also very involved with church – with many years of ushering and other volunteering at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, and more recently at Ankeny Presbyterian Church, after moving to Ankeny to be closer to family, in 2006. In his spare time, he also enjoyed golfing, coin collecting, and reading, especially history.

Jim is survived by his wife, Marge; daughter, Beth Akers (Jason); son, David (Tara); grandkids, Haley, Adam, Kate, and Devon; and siblings, Jay, Joy, Jon, and Judy.

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