Raymond James Jennett, MD, died April 14, 2008, at his home in Phoenix, AZ, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was 91. Born in Nevada, IA, February 1, 1917, Dr. Jennett first came to Phoenix in 1943 as an intern at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. A tribute in the program for his retirement reception captured the essence of this eminent physician’s career: “His distinctive style and expertise have been an integral part of the hospital” from 1943 through his retirement in 1985. He met his wife Edythe Betty at the University of Iowa, where he graduated from Medical School in 1943. They were married in 1942. After coming to Phoenix, Dr. Jennett moved to Texas where he completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Parkland Hospital in 1948. He then returned to Phoenix where he established residency training in OB/GYN at St. Joseph’s in 1951. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Division of Reproductive Medicine DORM of the Mercy Care Center at St. Joseph’s in 1971, where he served as director until his retirement. He and colleagues worked to broaden hospital services to include a Perinatal Clinical and Research Laboratory, Ultrasonography Laboratory, Perinatal Data System, Intensive Care Labor Unit, Fetal Monitoring System, Obstetrical Anesthesia Service, and a renovated and modernized nursery. He was instrumental in securing the grant that established Arizona’s Maternal Transport Program. Dr. Jennett was a founding member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and of the Phoenix Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, in which he served as president. He was a founding member, and later president of the Catholic Physicians Guild, and has served on the Governor’s Committee on Mental Retardation. Dr. Jennett devoted countless hours to a number of volunteer organizations including the National Foundation of the March of Dimes, Valley of the Sun School, the Association for Retarded Citizens and at his long-time parish, St. Agnes. After retirement from St. Joseph’s, Dr. Jennett remained active as both a medical consultant and volunteer. His passion for medicine was rivaled only by his love of family, farming and environmental conservation. He has maintained a farm in his native Nevada, Iowa, to this day. Dr. Jennett is preceded in death by his wife Edythe and an infant son, Hugh Joseph. He is survived by eight children: Raymond James Jennett, Jr., of Buffalo Grove, IL; Miriam Winters of Phoenix; Mary Wauson of Nevada, IA, Melanie Martyn of Phoenix; Marie Reising of Ahwatukee; Muriel Nieves of Gilbert; Niles Jennett of Chandler; and Moira Ellen Jennett of Phoenix, 18 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Visitation is scheduled from 6-8pm Thursday, April 17, at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ. The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 10am Friday, April 18, at St. Francis Xavier Church, 4715 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Interment will follow at St. Francis Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th St., Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Jennett’s name to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ, 85014 or Perry Rehabilitation Services, 3146 E. Windsor, Phoenix, AZ, 85008.
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