Brian Jennings


Last updated 5/22/2018 at 10:17am

Jan. 11, 1960 – April 17, 2018

Sitting here in Borrego Springs on an unusually cool May day, I am trying to put my words together to describe Brian Jennings, 58, who was taken from us much too soon.

There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe this man. His zest for life went far beyond what most of us are ever able to feel or imagine. He wanted to be sure his family experienced all the adventures together that most folks just never get around to.

Brian had many interests, including watching the stars in our beautiful dark skies. One of his many telescopes was about 6' long with a 17 1/2" mirror, and he took great pride when we were gathered at his home next door in pointing out the many stars, moons, planets and constellations in our own Milky Way, as well as other galaxies.

The most amazing sighting I remember Brian pointing out was a galaxy that had formed millions of years ago, but because of the strength of the lens along with speed of light, we were able to see it as it was actually forming. He educated us on the dark sky designation of Borrego Springs and how important it is for those who love to stargaze. He kept us entertained and intrigued at many of the backyard gatherings we enjoyed. It was always a fun time which we will forever cherish.

Brian was continually challenging himself physically and pushed his duration on the bicycle. He owned a variety of bikes that were meant for different types of rides. He and his beautiful wife, Nancy, did a cross-country (across the whole country) ride on a tandem bicycle. Imagine that, folks. Nancy was a great match for the adventurer that was her husband.

This man was a gentle soul. He genuinely cared about everyone and his smile was contagious. His love for bicycling was among the very top of his interests, along with kayaking, trials motorcycle riding, road trips around the country with his family, music, teaching as a college professor, and first on this list, his family.

He loved Borrego Springs at any time of year and used to bring his family out as often as possible. His enthusiasm was catching, as his family, students and friends who have come to know and love him over the years will attest to. His two sons have learned the ways of their father and are a great reflection of what Brian and Nancy both have taught them in this life.

Unfortunately, on the afternoon of April 17, 2018, he was riding his bicycle home to Alpine from work in El Cajon and was tragically hit and killed by a woman who fell asleep at the wheel of her minivan. Each waking day, our hearts are heavy with that reality. That sadness will never go away; it will ease, but what we will remember most about Brian is the joy and sense of adventure and excitement he brought to people's lives. He was our neighbor and our friend. We are blessed to have had him touch our lives for the amount of time he was able to give us.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, sons Brennan and Kendrick, brothers Gary and Les, and his mother, Laura. His soul shone as brightly as a full moon on a dark October night in the desert.

Now, as I watch the stars twinkle brightly in the dark night's sky through a tear forming in my eye, I know that Brian is one of them smiling down upon me. In that, I can take comfort.

– Sandy Link

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