Maurice Neuborne Jennings passed away peacefully on September 19, 2020, having spent his last days surrounded by his loving family. Maurice was born in Atlanta, GA on April 23, 1934, to Mary Frances and Rezin Bass Jennings. The family moved to Greensboro and then Burlington, NC where he graduated from Williams High School, class of 1953. Maurice maintained high school friendships and attended his 65th reunion in 2018.
As a young boy, Maurice spent summers with his grandparents on their farm in Murfreesboro, TN. It was there that he learned the value of hard work. As he grew older, he held many jobs to help support his family including newspaper delivery, radio program production and announcement, store clerk, dish washer, assistant manager in a movie theater, and eventually for the family flour brokerage business.
Maurice began his education at Elon College in September of 1953 and soon thereafter joined the United States Air Force, eventually serving his country in Tokyo, Japan. He later returned to Elon to complete his college degree. He was described by Elon University as “one of Elon’s most loyal alumni and friends”. He served the University in a variety of capacities for 20 years including the Board of Trustees. He was elected trustee emeritus in 1998 and awarded the University’s highest honor, the Elon Medallion, in 2006.
Maurice had an entrepreneurial spirit and was the founder of Biscuitville. With a twinkle in his eye, he credited his grandmother for his famous scratch-made biscuit recipe, saying she asked him if he would like to inherit the farm or her biscuit recipe. His choice is legendary.
Maurice’s courage, tenacity, passion and vision allowed him to defy the odds to build a successful family-owned business that has continued to remain strong with his son, Burney Jennings, at the helm. Maurice built Biscuitville with a few simple principles: a commitment to great food, friendly people and food served fast. His commitment to people was always evident in the way he supported his employees and the surrounding community, and that culture remains part of his legacy. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) recently honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
A caring member of the community, he supported many charitable organizations throughout Alamance, Guilford Counties and beyond, including building a Habitat for Humanity House in Vero Beach, Florida. Philanthropy was a priority and he encouraged his children to share their blessings as well. He blessed his family and friends in countless ways and his generous heart and keen sense of humor will be greatly missed.
Maurice raised a family in Burlington with his former wife, Patricia Gordon Qualls. He married Linda Bullard Fowler in 1982, and they had 33 wonderful years together living in Greensboro and Vero Beach, Florida until Linda’s death in 2015. They were members of First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro. Spending summers with family and friends in Roaring Gap, NC provided many special memories. Maurice was a member of Greensboro Country Club, Roaring Gap Club, Johns Island Club, and RedStick Golf Club. He had a passion for golf and enjoyed annual trips to Ireland, where he was a member of The Island Golf Club and Portmarnock Golf Club. Adventurous travel around the world included biking and motorcycling trips, living life to the fullest. He obtained his pilot’s license for business purposes early on but later for convenience and enjoyment, offering his services to family and friends in need.
Maurice was preceded in death by his parents Mary Frances and Rezin Bass Jennings; his sister, Janice Jennings Bailey; his brother Rezin Bass (R.B.) Jennings, Jr.; and his loving wife, Linda Newell Jennings. He is survived by his daughters, Mary Nell Jennings and Fran Jennings Teter (Chris); his son, Maurice N. (Burney) Jennings, Jr. (Dina); son, John Cooper Fowler (Meghan); daughter, Sinclair Fowler McLean (Robert); grandchildren, Tricia and Gordon Teter; Blake Jennings (Melanie), Bailey Jennings Golmont (Taylor), Mary Frances Jennings, and John Jennings; Cooper, Alex and Pearce Fowler; Eliza Jane, Dickson, Malcolm and Henry McLean; great-granddaughter, Reece Jennings and sister-in-law, Faye Jennings.
The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff of Well-Spring Retirement Community for their kindness and support the past five years. The family will gather for a private committal at First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the following charities in Maurice’s memory United Way of Alamance County, 220 East Front Street, Burlington, NC 27215; United Way-Greater Greensboro, 1500 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro, NC 27405; First Presbyterian Church Greensboro, 617 North Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.
Online condolences may be made through www.haneslineberrynelmfuneralhome.com