Joseph Lenning Profile Photo
1957 Joseph 2023

Joseph Lenning

June 6, 1957 — November 11, 2023

Joe Lenning passed on, at the age of 66, to be with the Lord Saturday morning, November 11, 2023. The world became a better place when he was born in Montgomery AL to Joyce Ann (Fulmer) and Robert Lenning on June 6, 1957. But his brother Mike and sister Sheila were not so sure about his adding to their world. So, while Joyce was in the hospital, they ran away in protest against this addition to their family, who, even before his arrival was getting so much attention!

They packed their things, which included sandwiches from their teenage Aunt, now Gail Cornelius, and walked all the way to the curb, farther than they'd ever gone by themselves. When they reached the curb,they realized they were not allowed to cross the street, so sat down to contemplate their future course of action.

Gail and their dad watched them without their knowledge, and with much amusement. The details are blurry these long years later but they decided to return eventually. As it turned out Joe was the sweetest baby and little brother that ever lived and their youthful jealousy was forgotten.

Joe spent his entire career at UPS and worked his way up to driving the large trucks across state lines. He was quick with a smile and a joke and enjoyed making others laugh. He was always helping others, especially his mom, whom he visited almost every day at her nursing home.

Joe was preparing for retirement when the Lord called him home. He loved his friends and the little cat he rescued from the side of the road. He fed stray cats during his runs with UPS. He even made a little house to protect them from the elements.

Joe, whom his family called Joey, is survived by his beloved mother, Joyce Lenning, his brother Michael Lenning, his sister-in-law Dana Lenning, his sister Sheila Lenning Stephens, his brother-in-law Guillermo (Will) Fernandez, his niece Stephanie Lenning Bethea, and Aunts Gail Fulmer Cornelius and Kathy Fulmer Lankford and their husbands Kenneth and Ronald, plus cousins Robert Ball and wife Becky, Debra Cornelius, and Kim Lankford Thrasher and husband Ray, David Coenlius, Jess Lankford and his wife, Kim and Michele Busen.

A light went out here when Joe crossed the veil but the warmth of that light can still be felt by those who knew and loved him. Joe believed that when his spirit would be absent from his body he would be present with the Lord. This knowledge provides comfort for those who, though we miss him terribly, realize that he is rejoicing in the presence of our God.

It's easy to think of Joe's passing as "Why did he have to go?" But looking with spiritual eyes, it's apparent that he got to go...he was given the opportunity to cross the veil and experience real life ahead of the rest of us. C.S. Lewis wrote that we are in the shadow lands and real life will only begin when we cross that veil to be with the Lord.

Joey is an irreplaceable soul who made an imprint on the lives of those who are fortunate to have known and loved him. Our pain at his passing is deep, but our joy at his new life in Heaven is great.

A poem by his sister addresses this. Knowing that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, she nonetheless asked the Lord, "If it were possible, what would a soul who was allowed to visits or her own funeral feel?" This is the poem that she wrote in response :


Today I stand but soon I'll lie

Where others line up to pass me by

And state how natural I appear

As if these words I might still hear

As if I'm dozing, gently, there

But I'll have slipped this mortal form

My body left for others to mourn

My spirit watching, close, somewhere

Wondering what the tears are for

Hovering near for one last glimpse

Of faces I have loved and kissed

I'll whisper: Loves, weep not! You see

No pain, no fear remains with me

No effort, sadness, misery

No future angst, no history

No more confusion, guilt nor gain

No, my dear ones, just love remains

Love thrusts through this, my last night

Love fuels my faithful, final flight

Love whisks my will to worlds unknown

Where angels wait to welcome me home

Where loved ones urge: dearest take heart

Real life is here, real life can start!

The scales they fall, my eyes they see

I'm something new for eternity

Let loose from this unyielding clay

My boundless spirit free to play

Absent a body, brain, or breath,

Ahead is life! Behind is death!

Sheila Stephens copyright

We will see him again, when we get to leave these shadowlands behind and cross into that land where real life begins.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Lenning, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 16, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am

Jefferson Memorial Gardens East

1591 Gadsden Hwy, AL 35235

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, November 16, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am

Jefferson Memorial Gardens East

1591 Gadsden Hwy, AL 35235

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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