Paul R. Jennings, one of the founding members of The Bengal Group, died on Friday morning, July 10, 2009 after a courageous and tenacious fight against the cancer that ultimately claimed him. At the end, he was surrounded by the family who loved him and the friends to whom ''P.J.'' had always devoted his magnificent heart. He was 54.
In late June, Paul had returned home from M.D. Anderson, his treatment options exhausted. As the 4th of July passed and he weakened before our eyes, Paul knew he would be leaving. That being so, and speaking peacefully about that prospect, he specifically set out as one of his final requests that there be no flowers at his funeral. Instead, P.J. requested that donations be made to The Bengal Group in lieu of those usual floral expenses so that the organization which had infused his soul could continue its work assisting L.S.U. students in financial need.
Even at the end, Paul's devotion to the Group he had helped found and mold was manifest.
And so, in due course, those contributions will be used to fund The Paul R. Jennings Memorial Bengal Group Scholarship -- a grant which will be conferred upon the L.S.U. students who were ever close to his heart.
It should be observed that Paul's funeral was held at the First Presbyterian Church on North Bouleveard on Saturday, July 11, 2009 -- the day following Paul's death. His request for donations in his name to The Bengal Group was duly noted in his obituary -- as he requested.
The contributions have come in, just as he would have hoped. But....there were also lovely flowers anyway. He was our true blue friend.
He would always bend and sway with whatever life served up, although he never let any of us down -- ever.
He has been missed so much and we think of our buddy every day.