Obituary of Jeffrey Alan Fennell
Jeffrey Alan Fennell was born on December 1, 1964, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was the eldest of three children born to Ronald King Fennell and the former Diane Whitten. Jeff graduated from Milan High School in Milan, Michigan with the Class of 1983. He had been employed as a hi-lo driver at Ford Motor Company for the past twelve years. Jeff was proud to own a 2019, cherry-red Ford Mustang that was built at the plant where he worked. He was a lifelong parishioner of York Baptist Church in Milan. Very protective of those he cared for, Jeff provided unofficial “quiet” security for the church.
On June 12, 2021, Jeff wed the love of his life, the former Lisa Leachman, at The McIntyre in Bolles Harbor, Michigan. The couple lived life to the fullest during their two years of marriage. Jeff introduced Lisa to his love of NASCAR racing. They traveled together to Daytona International Speedway where they signed their names on the starting line. Jeff had traveled all over the country to attend races and even tattooed his arm with a tribute to his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt. Well known locally for playing the role of Santa Clause, he was donning the red suit and white beard when he popped the question to his future wife who naturally became his sidekick, Mrs. Clause. Although Jeff was a natural introvert, he transformed behind the suit. He especially enjoyed entertaining children and the elderly. Jeff also shared his love of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with his wife, annually traveling to his “home away from home”.
Jeff loved spending time at Lake Erie fishing, where he would also spend time collecting shells and rocks. A talented bowler, he participated in many leagues and tournaments. Along with his team, they earned their place in the state level tournaments. Jeff was an avid University of Michigan fan. He attended many games at “The Big House”, most recently the Michigan v. Michigan State rivalry game. Jeff also knew his way around the kitchen, with his family looking forward to his chicken enchiladas and homemade crab Rangoon each Christmas. When smoking meat, Jeff stayed up practically all night. He set his alarm before squeezing in a cat nap between tending to the smoker. The consummate entertainer, Jeff had a great sense of humor. He could perform spot-on impressions. The Muppet’s Kermit and Miss Piggy always got a big laugh. Each Halloween, everyone knew to be wary of being pranked by Jeff. Kind and generous to all, he had a heart of gold.
Jeffrey Alan Fennell, age 58, of Monroe passed away unexpectedly on Friday; June 16, 2023. His passing was preceded by his father; step-father: Russell Newton; and a beloved grandson: Oliver Thomas King Fennell.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his loving wife: Lisa Fennell; three children: Ashley (Eric) Scott, Matthew (Caitlyn) Fennell, and Maya Fennell; six grandchildren: Miley, Presley, Easton, Dalton, Mason, and Maddox; his mother: Diane Newton; two sisters: Kimberly (Scott) Crowl and Michelle (Michael) Goulet; a step-sister: Debra Doria; a step-brother: Jeffrey (Lisa) Newton; many nieces and nephews including Christopher Fennell, Isabelle Goulet, Zachary Crowl, and Madison Crowl; his step-mother: Teania Fennell; and canine companions: “Pearl” and “Pepper”, nine-month old Black Lab sibling puppies whom Jeff adored.
Friends may gather on Friday; June 23, 2023, from 3:00pm until 6:00pm at Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe; 2442 North Monroe Street, Monroe, Michigan 48162 (734) 384-5185. A Celebration of Jeffrey’s Life with Pastor David Grinnell officiating will begin at 6:00pm also at Merkle’s. Cremation will follow through the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation of Erie, Michigan.
Memorial donations may be made to the Ike and Ella Fund, or Ronald McDonald House Charities in loving memory of Jeff’s grandson, Oliver Thomas King Fennell. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.