Charles Alston Jennings JrLittle Rock, AR, 1947 - 2023
Charles Alston Jennings, Jr. died quietly at home with family in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
Born September 18th, 1947, in Little Rock, the first grandchild, he was beloved by both sets of grandparents – Ann and E.C. Jones and Irma and E.F. Jennings. His parents, Dot and Alston Jennings, passed down their reverence for language, loyalty and integrity, love of music, and sense of humor. His mother set the tone for him to be an avid reader - from Mad magazine to Dostoevsky to David Foster Wallace – and he developed a talent for writing legal briefs and personal letters. He spent summers with family at Pinnacle cottage in Ludington, Mich., then in college traveled to Wisconsin to drive a combine for Stokely Van Camp.
Family has always been at the center of Alston's life. He and his brother Boo (Gene) swam competitively as teenagers and enjoyed Razorback sports together in later years. He took charge of introducing his sister, Ann, to great music, taking her to see Muddy Waters in Toronto on a family trip when she was 15. With his uncle Earp Jennings, Jr., he went duck hunting, and he was later known for his marksmanship in long distance target shooting. With his Uncle Walter, as a teenager he built a car from scratch, with airplane seats, an on/off switch in place of a key and a push button horn. It wasn't for the city streets, but it was perfect out on "the highway" where the family lived until Imminent Domain took their property in 1968 to make way for I-430 across the Arkansas River.
With his father, he practiced law at Wright Lindsey Jennings in Little Rock until his retirement.
Alston graduated from Hall High School and then Hendrix College. He was encouraged by Coach Courtway to go out for the swim team where he distinguished himself. For many years he held the NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – championship record in the 200-yard breaststroke.
At Hendrix he met Margaret Sanders, and they later married on campus after he graduated from law school at Vanderbilt and began his practice as an assistant Attorney General in the office of Jim Guy Tucker. Their daughter, Laura Yates Jennings, became a competitive swimmer as well and also graduated from Hendrix.
His grandson, Alston Lloyd Earley, carries on the family name, and was the joy of his life.
Alston treasured his cadre of friends, many relationships from childhood as well as those he befriended throughout his life who shared his wide range of interests: Hendrix College; swimming; cars in general, and in particular a black Lotus Europa, a British racing green TR250, and a copper Plymouth Barracuda with a racing stripe; motorcycle road racing; long range rifle target shooting; long distance walking. These were much more than hobbies to Alston; when he got interested, he went all in. When his daughter mentioned that she was starting to train for her first marathon, he committed to walking the race. Soon he was participating in 50K and 100K endurance races all over the country and became a scholar of the sport.
Margaret and Laura, Boo and Ann, his cousins Jay and Cesu, and our families are grateful for Alston's loyal friends and colleagues who were such an important part of his life and have enriched ours.
Donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis.
We will gather to celebrate Alston's life and share memories at the Historic Arkansas Museum at 3rd and Cumberland in Little Rock on Friday, February 3rd from 5:30-7 p.m. We welcome friends and family to join us. Arrangements are under the direction of RuebelFuneralHome.com
Published January 17, 2023
OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
Ruebel Funeral Home
6313 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR