A Life Lived: Fred Jenkins found joy in the little things of life

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Editorial Director
Someone has aptly said there are extraordinary pleasures in ordinary things. Fred Jenkins was a simple man, whose life was made up of small pleasures — those moments, sensations, and actions that we experience, feel and do every day, often without taking notice.
To Fred, there was joy in taking a grandchild to the flea market on a Saturday morning; sitting on the floor and rolling the ball to another grandchild; watching Perry Mason on television, and going fishing, etc.
It was the little things in life that brought a smile to Fred Jenkins’ face.
Fred died Oct. 6 at the age of 85 years with his family by his side. And, no doubt he was smiling inside.
However, there were some big things in Fred’s life that caused him to reflect with pride, among them his service as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army at the end of the Korean War. He served two years in the Army and earned a parachutist badge and National Defense Medal. And, he had been a member of Lynn Valley Baptist Church for 61 years.
Fred was faithful to his church and rarely missed a service.
Fred was married to his wife, Nancy, 63 years, and they were the parents of three children: Gerald Jenkins, Melissa Cagle, and Christopher Jenkins. Nancy shared that she and Fred met at a Hampton ballgame. They were introduced to each other by Nancy’s brother-in-law. It was a short courtship as they dated only two months before they got married.
Fred went to Unaka High School, where he played football.
In addition to their three children, Fred and Nancy had seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Fred enjoyed holidays and the times his children and grandchildren got together. One Christmas tradition he particularly enjoyed was playing bingo with family. He called the numbers often with a little help from a grandchild or great-grandchild. “It was a Christmas tradition we all enjoyed,” said Nancy.
Fred enjoyed fishing and playing golf. “He enjoyed the outdoors and gardening. He enjoyed yard work and took pride in having a good-looking yard,” Nancy shared.
Fred retired from North American Rayon Corp., where he was a supervisor for 32 years.
“He enjoyed all of the detective shows on TV, but Perry Mason was his favorite. He also enjoyed reading books about detectives and enjoyed learning about the work of detectives. He was an avid reader and enjoyed learning,” said Nancy.
Fred grew up in the Blue Springs Community and was one of six children.
As the holidays approach, Fred is preparing for something much bigger than bingo or a trip to the flea market. But, it’s those little things that Fred enjoyed that perhaps will continue as a family tradition.
Fred Jenkins taught us that the simple pleasures are life’s treasures.

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