Lifelong Lansdowne resident laid down roots with trees and community involvement

June 8, 2024

LANSDOWNE — Claiming by her family to be perhaps the oldest lifelong resident of Lansdowne, Mary Lou Jennings turned 96 on May 5.

“My mom has lived in Lansdowne her entire life,” son Robert Jennings said. “She loves this town!”

Mrs. Jennings had 11 children, nine boys and two girls, all born at Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Darby. One son passed away with a brain tumor in the 1960s, but the other 10 all went on to live successful lives, her son said.

Mary Lou Jennings was always active in the community.

She was a Girl Scout troop leader from the 1960s until 2005. She has also been a longtime board member of the Lansdowne Tree Commission, overseeing the process of procuring trees, meeting with residents to plant trees on their property, and coordinating with the borough in planting street trees.

According to her family, Mary Lou planted trees up and down Lansdowne Avenue and on Baltimore Pike, all the way through East Lansdowne, up to the Philadelphia line. She also planted trees in town parks and other public and private properties.

Jennings has been an active member of St. Philomena’s Catholic Church in Lansdowne, for over 60 years. Six years ago, when she turned 90, the Lansdowne Theater put happy birthday wishes to her on its marquee. She has also served as the grand marshal of the Lansdowne Fourth of July Parade.

The nonagenarian has 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

“She has always been the coolest, wisest and finest Mom one could ever wish for,” Robert stated.

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