It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Charles Dimmock Jenkins of Richmond on Nov. 14, 2019, cherished husband, adored father of three, loving grandfather of six, and great-grandfather of three.
Charles is survived by the love of his life, Virginia “Ginny” Rector; daughter, Marion (Jean Perrier), and sons, Matthew (Betty Massie) and David (Lisa Finnegan); and grandchildren, Erica (Laura), David (Marie), Thomas (Colleen), Taylor (Iziar), Connor and Ryan. He was preceded in death by sisters, Madeline Rohlfs and Patricia Modlin, mother of Judith, Susan, and Sally.
Charles and Ginny were classmates at Ginter Park School from kindergarten onward. They were married on July 6, 1950. A 1945 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond in 1949 and his Master’s in Hospital Administration from the Medical College of Virginia in 1952, subsequent to his MHA residency at the University of Virginia Hospital. Thereafter, he served for three years in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War overseeing hospitals in Japan. Charles retired in 1988 following a highly respected career in hospital administration that began in eastern Kentucky. There, he worked for six years in two newly established hospitals operated by the Miners Memorial Hospital Association, an early precursor to health maintenance organizations, which brought modern healthcare to the underserved coal mining communities of Appalachia. These hospitals, which employed physicians over the objections of organized medicine, offered state-of-the-art acute care and ambulatory services to patients who had never experienced care beyond the offerings of coal company doctors.
He then spent 15 years as the CEO of Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, Maryland, during which time he led the building of a modern facility replacing an aged structure. Upon arrival at Montgomery General he put an immediate end to the segregation of patients based on race. Charles then served as President of Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore for 12 years before leading Union Memorial into the merger which created the Helix Health System, now a part of MedStar, as the founding CEO of Helix. He organized and served as the chief cook and bottlewasher of the East Coast Administrators Conference, an annual seaside gathering of the executive leadership of the top hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region, which facilitated the exchange of ideas to improve healthcare throughout the region, while catching the occasional fish, winning the occasional hand of poker, and singing barbershop harmonies.
He had a lifelong passion for fishing and spent many happy years on the waters of Chesapeake Bay and coastal North Carolina where he and Ginny retired in 1988. They returned to their beloved Chesapeake on Cobbs Creek in Mathews, Virginia, in 1998 before moving back to Richmond in 2005.
We will remember him for his love of family, his dedication to the education of his children and grandchildren, his quick wit, mastery of rhyme, and his sage advice:
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.” The Wind in The Willows
A graveside service is planned for next April. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.