John Joseph Jenkins


John Joseph Jenkins was born January 27, 1932 in Knoxville, Iowa to Frank Frush Jenkins, Sr. and Lois Virginia Overton. He was the fifth child of seven. John grew up on the farm, learning to drive a tractor at an early age. He attended Brownlee County School through the 8th grade, graduating from Knoxville High School in 1950. After graduation he worked on the family farm until he was drafted by the Army.
On June 14, 1958, John was united in marriage to Jean Marie Richards. To this union, eight children were born. They lived on a farm when they were first married until John was called back into military service. They spent time in Iowa, Oklahoma, Germany, Kansas and Illinois during John's career. They settled in Derby, Kansas to finish raising their children. John attended Wichita State University and received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1980. He was working on his thesis for his master's degree when Jean was diagnosed with cancer. John put his schooling on hold to care for Jean. John and Jean were married for 31 years before she passed away.
On August 8, 1991, John married Judy Ann Smith. Judy brought 4 kids to their union, making a total of 12 children between them. They made their home in Port Orange, Florida and were active members of the Port Orange Presbyterian Church. John and Judy spent a lot of time keeping track of their growing family, playing cards with neighbors and traveling at every opportunity. It was rare that they missed a family event, sports game or birthday. John was a wonderful son, a devoted husband, an understanding father and awesome grandpa. Family was very important to him in all stages of his life.
John made a career of the military. He attended Officer Candidate School and Flight School. He served one tour of duty in Korea and two in Vietnam. On his last tour he was the commander of the Phoenix group, flying helicopters in Southeast Asia. John was highly decorated in the military, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and four Air Medals. He was respected for his calm but firm demeanor. He retired after 23 years as a Lt. Colonel.
In Feb 2018, John suffered his first of several strokes. After rehabilitation he resided at the Emory L. Bennet Veterans Home. John continued to keep in touch with his family through visits and daily phone conversations. John passed away on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the age of 87. Several of his daughters were by his side.
John was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jean, his granddaughter Sarah Jean Veneklasen and his siblings: William O. Jenkins, Mary (Glen) Harris, Frances (Leonard) Jones and Frank (Martha) Jenkins.
Left to cherish his memory include his wife Judy, his siblings: Jeanne Smith of Knoxville, Stephen (Phyllis) Jenkins of Knoxville and his sister-in-law Audrey Jenkins of Melcher; his children: Kimberly (Jerry) Mook of Tulsa, OK, Mark (Mary Lynn) Jenkins of Raymore, MO, Rhonda (Lee) Buttel of Augusta, KS, David Jenkins of Thornton, CO, Brian Jenkins of Tucson, AZ, Pamela (John) Veneklasen of Missoula, MT, James Jenkins of Overland Park, KS, Sandy (Scott) Hill of Derby KS; his step children: Cindy (Eugene) Hauser of Bonifay, FL, Christy Nagengast of Daytona Beach, FL, Craig (Penny) Smith of Yelm, WA and Cory Smith of Daytona Beach, FL; 29 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren with another one on the way; plus many other family members and friends.
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Published on July 5, 2019
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1 posts

Rhonda Buttel
Jul 01, 2019