joined Bettie Marie, his high school sweetheart and life partner, in Heaven on Jan. 7, 2013 after a brief illness. Bernie was born on March 8, 1933 in Franklin, Va. He enlisted in the United States Air Force at age 17, and served as a radio operator in Japan and Korea during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. He entered college on the GI Bill, and in 1958 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Howard University, where he was President of the Engineering Society. In the late 1950's, Bernie and Bettie relocated to Canton, Ohio where Bernie began his career as a design engineer, obtaining registered professional engineer certification in the State of Ohio. After gaining increasing responsibility with several established engineering firms in Canton, in 1970 Bernie established BP Jenkins, Inc., one of the first minority-owned engineering and construction companies in Northeast Ohio. A successor to Bernie's original company is in existence today, and is operated by his only daughter, Bernadine. Bernie was active in the community, serving at various times on the boards of the Canton Fair Housing Commission, the Canton Urban League, the Canton Board of Health, the Private Industry Council, the Ohio State Board of Education and United Way, among others. He was also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In addition to Bettie, who passed away in May of 2012, Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Booker T. and Catherine Jenkins; and his brother, Booker 'Westside' Jenkins.
Bernie is survived by a brother, two sisters, five children and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in Bernie's honor at Faith United Christian Church, 3411 Richmond Ave. NE, Canton, Ohio at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to The Bettie Pope Jenkins Multiple Sclerosis Tribute Fund at
Rhoden Memorial Home, Inc.
729 Cherry Avenue NE Canton, OH 44702
Published in The Repository on Jan. 24, 2013