Long-time Napa resident Victoria (“Vickii”) Marie Jennings died on September 22 of natural causes in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was 81.
Born in Tracy, California and raised in Tracy and Anderson, Ms. Jennings moved to Napa in the 1960s after graduating from Loma Linda University. Ms. Jennings was a physical therapist, and worked at all of the hospitals in the Valley, including the Veterans’ Home. She also had a private practice in Sonoma (Valley Physical Therapy) in the 1980s and 1990s. Her favorite part of her career was providing home care to elderly patients, especially when she got to drive around town in her little red Miata. Excessive paperwork forced her into retirement.
A single mother, Ms. Jennings raised two unruly but grateful children, both of whom graduated from Napa High School. She generally encouraged her children to find their own paths in life, even if she didn’t always understand or agree with them. Somehow, things usually worked out — mostly with her support. Both of Ms. Jennings’ children went on to graduate from college, and then from graduate school. This was a point of pride for Ms. Jennings as there were times when she didn’t think they would make it out of high school.
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Ms. Jennings retired in 2005, followed her daughter to Knoxville, and spent most of her retirement happily gardening. She also occasionally imbibed a good bottle of wine while recounting stories, especially about former patients, and complaining that she did not like getting old very much. Her best story was about accidentally giving valium to the family cat, Jiggs, coincidentally curing his cancer in the process.
Ms. Jennings lived a good life (usually in high heels), and plans to enjoy the afterlife with her parents as a rambunctious five-year-old trying to dodge spankings from her mother. Her father had neither the desire nor will to do so, which probably explains why she was a daddy’s girl.
Ms. Jennings is survived her ex-husband Josue Hoyos, who worked at Ridgeview Junior High School and Napa Valley Community College in the 1960s and 1970s. She is also survived by her two children, Renee Hoyos, who lives in Knoxville, and Roman Hoyos, who now lives in Los Angeles. Both remain unruly…and grateful.