“God has been so merciful to me he has watched over me and blessed me in amazing ways. He is taking care of me now.”
These words above, as were written by my precious wife Betty, do an excellent job of expressing my sentiment now.
I was born to the late Marian King Jenkins and James F. Jenkins on Jan. 10, 1944, in Bena, Virginia. From an early age, my sister, Mary Lou, and I always shared a mutual love of daffodils, fresh York River seafood, and home-grown vegetables. I was so blessed to have a wonderful extended family that included my grandparents, Maryus Jones King and Mary Hogge King, Edie C. Jenkins, and Mary W. Jenkins, and my two aunts, Virginia T. King and Sara C. Deibert. They loved, taught, mentored, and encouraged me while helping to lay a solid foundation of strong Christian values, a robust work ethic, and a love for both fishing and the outdoors. I loved each one of them greatly.
As a teenager, I was very skilled at carving duck decoys and enjoyed duck hunting, tonging for oysters, and jumping rabbits with my good canine, “Jimmy Dog.” My friends and I liked to get into shenanigans, but I will leave the details out of this part! I graduated from Gloucester High School in 1962 and remained lifelong friends with many of my classmates. We very much enjoyed staying in contact through reunions, get-togethers, and phone calls. These friendships meant the world to me.
Immediately after high school, I attended the Apprentice School at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, where I graduated as a machinist. I then continued my education by attending night school at the College of William and Mary, as I strongly believed in the importance of remaining a lifelong learner.
In 1965, I married the love of my life, Betty Paige Garner. I adored her. We worked hard, set goals together, and enjoyed traveling and collecting antiques. Together, in our Williamsburg home, we raised our three children. Our belief in hard work gave us the ability to provide a good and secure life for our family.
After working for 20 years at the Newport News Shipyard, I went to work for Ball Metal Corporation, a very good company, where I was employed as a machinist for 25 years. On my days off, I was able to utilize my love for both fine antiques and my passion for woodworking. I did all kinds of woodworking (store remodeling, subcontract work at Busch Gardens, cabinetmaking, and fabrication of items sold in local stores). I was revered by many to be a premier custom crate designer, and I created, packaged, and shipped countless priceless antiques that belonged to the British Royal Family. I learned many of my woodworking skills from several very fine German cabinetmakers, and I am so thankful to them for teaching me a trade that lasted a lifetime.
I was an avid reader and felt very blessed to have had access to such a wonderful resource in the Williamsburg Regional Library. I loved watching my college football games (Roll Tide!) and baking homemade cakes at Christmas time. I was a lifelong member of Williamsburg Masonic Lodge Number 6, AF&AM, and I treasured my relationships and activities as a lodge member.
After retirement, I became a Virginia Extension Master Gardener for the City of Williamsburg and loved every moment of this. I volunteered in my Williamsburg community for 13 years and worked extensively in the gardens and greenhouses of the historic area. I was so blessed to be able to assist with creating the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas decorations. What a joy this was to me.
I was so fortunate to have the world’s best neighbors. Our friendships meant so much to me and I never forgot all of the wonderful gestures of love and support that you provided.
I am survived by our three children, Elisabeth Scott Jenkins Baty (Jamison), Mary Kathryn Jenkins (Wayne), and Benjamin Garner Jenkins (Heather); my three grandchildren, Michael Christopher Branzelle Jr., Lanie Mae Jenkins King, Beauden Jenkins King, and my dear sister, Mary Lou Apgar (John) of Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Jim passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021. A service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, at 10 a.m.
Union Baptist Church, 9254 Guinea Road, Hayes, Virginia, and officiated by the Rev. Jared Berry. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. A private committal service will be held at a later date, where Betty and Jim will be laid to rest together, at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Williamsburg. Contributions may be made in Jim’s memory to the Williamsburg Regional Library at 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185.
Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home & Crematory.