Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Sarah Jennings


Sarah Ann Jennings passed away peacefully on March 24, 2018. With a devoted community of friends in Thermopolis, she lived independently until the last two weeks of her life.

Ann was born in 1934 in Jonesborough, Tenn. In 1937 her family moved to Thermopolis, where she grew up in a wonderful extended family and graduated high school. She worked at Perry's Café, the Sideboard Café, and the historic Emery Hotel. She served in the US Navy from 1953-1957. Ann then moved to Fairbanks, Ala., where she spent the majority of her adult life.

Much of her life was devoted to the American Legion, where she was a respected leader, a widely loved community builder, and a tenacious advocate for veterans. Serving the American Legion in many capacities, she became the first woman to rise to Commander of the Dorman H. Baker Post #11, then Western Commander of the Alaska Department, and finally in 1991, Department Commander. In officially nominating Ann to serve on the U.S. Veterans' Administration Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, Senator Frank Murkowski and Jack Shield, Director of the Alaska Division of Veterans Affairs, noted her "keen insight into the problems specific to veteran woman and men" in rural areas and her experience traveling "extensively throughout Alaska talking with women veterans and learning firsthand of their unique needs and concerns".

Ann returned to Thermopolis in 2001, re-establishing her family's connection to her hometown. She had a big heart, quick wit, was adventurous, curious, funny, smart, hardworking, and meticulous. She loved music, dancing, and travel. She routinely contributed to a wide variety of charities, developed new friendships in Wyoming while maintaining old friendships around the country. She became a great-grandmother and supported her multigenerational family with deep, unconditional love.

She is survived by son, Michael (Jennifer) Jennings of Sebasto Pol, Calif .; and sister, Betty Hansen of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Ann was preceded in death by her father, Roy Rash; mothe,r Erma Hulse Rash Fonnesbeck; brother, Joe; sister, Beatrice Hamilton; and daughter, Vickie.

Memorial services will be held in Thermopolis in June. In honor of Ann and in lieu of flowers, her family invites friends and well-wishers to contribute to the American Legion.

Mortimore Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online messages may be left at


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