In many ways, Marilyn Jenne’s story is the story of Amherst.
With her 95th birthday nearing, Jenne has released her memoirs, entitled “For the Love of Animals: The Story of Marilyn Jenne.”
From the Amherst Historical Society to support of the arts to years on the Amherst Public Library board of trustees, Jenne’s involvement in civic affairs is well-known.
So is her passion for furry critters from llamas to race horses.
“My love affair with animals started before I was born,” she says early in the 76-page book. “I had not yet arrived on the scene when my Grandfather Kuss bought me an Airedale puppy; he was a wonderful old man and I guess he thought Bim would protect me — from what in our small town, I don’t know!”
Jenne grew up in the center of town, her family history tied to the sandstone quarries. The memoir covers nearly an entire century, showing through her first-person vantage how Amherst has evolved.
When she was very young, her father would bring home turtles, eels, frogs, and even a crow for Marilyn to care for. So it was no surprise she fell in love with and married animal-lover Bud Jenne.
When Bud returned from World War II, where he served as an Army medic, he immediately bought a horse. The couple established Budmar Farms in 1948 on North Ridge Road. Together, they bred 200 horses, including champions, and even launched the annual Little Brown Jug pace horse race in Delaware, Ohio.
Bud died in 1990. Eleven years later, the Bud and Marilyn Jenne Designated Professorship in Equine Clinical Sciences and Research was established at Ohio State University with a gift from Marilyn.
Using $2 million from the sale of Nordson Corporation stocks, it provides salary and research support for a distinguished faculty member in veterinary medicine.
Jenne spoke last year at OSU and got the first standing ovation of her life from a crowd of 200. Aftward, she was approached by Teckie Shackelford, who was inspired to hire Arizona editor Susan Sipple to write “For the Love of Animals.”
Sipple spent three days interviewing Jenne in Amherst. Jenne is proud of the photos she provided to tell her life’s story — especially one of herself at age two, holding on to ol’ Bim’s collar.
She said she never would have dreamed of publishing an autobiography but is happy with what she and Sipple created.
The book can be purchased at www.blurb.com.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Amherst News-Times Marilyn Jenne has released a book about her life as an Amherstonian, horse breeder, and animal lover.