Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA) - November 9, 2002
Deceased Name: OBITUARIES: MARIETTA: Katherine Jennings , jeweler, helping hand
Through the custom jewelry she designed at Giordano & Co. in Marietta, Katherine Griffin Jennings helped people enhance their self-image. "Katherine could identify with a person when they walked into the store, just read them, and steer them to the correct piece of jewelry," said her neighbor, Sue Winterkorn of Marietta. Ms. Winterkorn was in the midst of a painful divorce when she first met Mrs. Jennings. Her neighbor not only offered nonjudgmental support but made her something tangible that allowed her to move on with her life. "She noticed I had some beautiful rings but wasn't wearing them," said Ms. Winterkorn. "I told her they don't mean what they used to, and she said, 'Then we need to make them mean something else.' " Mrs. Jennings took her friend's engagement and anniversary rings and out of them created a new ring featuring a flower with three petals representing Ms. Winterkorn and her two children. "Katherine gave me the hope to love again," said her friend. Katherine G. Jennings, 49, of Marietta, died Oct. 30 of brain cancer at Emory University Hospital. The body was cremated. The memorial service is 3 p.m. Sunday at H.M. Patterson & Son, Canton Hill. The Florida native's interest in jewelry began 10 years ago, when she answered a Rich's ad for a jewelry salesperson. Mrs. Jennings got the job, loved it, and began taking courses from the Gemological Institute of America to learn to appraise gems and design jewelry. "Her designs were geometric and contemporary, and she had a large following of customers," said Becky Anderson-Roberts, manager at Giordano & Co., where Mrs. Jennings worked the past four years. "She was extremely positive and outgoing; you would never know she had been fighting cancer." "Katherine was the epitome of courage and kindness and empathy," said Ms. Winterkorn. Soon after the Cobb County district attorney's office created its Victim-Witness Assistance Program in 1985, Mrs. Jennings volunteered. "She would comfort and assist abused children who would have to testify," said her husband, Christopher Jennings of Marietta. "She also helped victims of date rape." Mrs. Jennings was always rescuing abandoned animals. "We were taking a walk one day and a cat followed her home. That became our cat," said her daughter, Lindsay Jeffrey of Marietta. Her dream, said her husband, was to buy a farm and run her own animal shelter. Other survivors include a son, Patrick Jeffrey of Savannah; her mother, Katherine Griffin of Charlotte; and two brothers, Richard Griffin of Charlotte and Ken Williams of Vandalia, Ill.