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Tulsa World Obituary

Robert Jennings' rites set; was retired Oxley director
from Tulsa World, 9/19/2004

He helped form the center and was instrumental in preserving Mohawk Park land. Robert G. "Bob" Jennings, a retired director of Oxley Nature Center, died Wednesday. He was 64.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday at Floral Haven Funeral Home Chapel in Broken Arrow.

Jennings was born Oct. 25, 1939, in Muleshoe, Texas, to Velma and Gardner Jennings.

He graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Mo., and served in the Navy. He later graduated with a master's degree in biology from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Jennings went on to direct the Lakeside Nature Center, a part of the Kansas City, Mo. Parks and Recreation Department. He started an outdoor education program there.

On Sept. 15, 1977, Jennings became the first director of Oxley Nature Center, which he helped plan and build. For the next 25 years, he led Tulsans

in preserving a portion of Mohawk Park, where the nature center is located. The center is nationally renowned for its interpretive programs.

In addition to his position at Oxley, Jennings also wrote "From the Stump," a column in the Oxley Nature Center Newsletter. His friends collected many of his columns and published them in a book with the same title.

Jennings recently co-authored a Midwest bird guide scheduled for release in the spring of 2005.

Throughout his career, Jennings received many awards for his leadership as a naturalist and ecological interpreter.

He retired as director of Oxley Nature Center in 2002.

In 2004, he was named a Fellow of the National Association for Interpretation, the organization's highest honor.

Among his hobbies were collecting, birdwatching, genealogy, music, reading and beer-tasting. He had observed 668 birds and tasted 842 beers in his lifetime. He also enjoyed traveling to historical and bird-watching sites with his wife.

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Lynn "Kelly" Jennings, of the home.

Friends may make memorial contributions to the National Association for Interpretation in Fort Collins, Colo., or the Mary K. Oxley Nature Center Association.