FAYETTEVILLE - Eugene Jackson Jenkins, 82, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in his home, surrounded by his family.
Born in Graham County, North Carolina on March 27, 1931 to Burdell and Edd Jenkins, Gene was one of four children. Gene spent his child-hood in the mountains of N.C. and later relocated with his family to Gastonia, N.C. after the death of his father. As a young man, Gene worked in the textile industry until joining the United States Navy
. He served from 1948 to 1952 traveling to many ports. Gene's most memorable assign-ment was on the U.S.S. Gherardi.
Gene married Opal Louise Crisp in October of 1953 and was happily married for 58 years. Gene and Opal started out as newlyweds in Char-lotte, N.C. and eventually settled in Gastonia. Gene built a successful career with BellSouth and reared two daughters, Patti and Lynn. Gene and Opal later owned and managed The Fortress Restaurant in Gastonia for 20 years.
Gene enjoyed church life at Tuskeegee Baptist Church in Graham County, at New Hope Baptist Church in Charlotte, and Gamble Hill Baptist Church and Loray Baptist Church both in Gastonia.
In retirement, Gene enjoyed Charlotte Hornets basketball games, vacations at the Outer Banks, watching Nascar races, and spending time with his four grandchildren. Gene was a selfless caregiver and encouraged many young people to work hard and stay on the right path.
Gene is preceded in death by his wife Opal, his daughter Patti Jenkins, his brothers Cecil Jenkins and Marshall Jenkins, and his sister Lena Mae Jenkins Taylor. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Lynn and Brent Morehouse and their children Juliana, Natalie, Marshall, and Scar-lett.
A funeral service will be held in Graham County, N.C. at Tuskeegee Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014.
A graveside burial will take place after the service in Breedlove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Tuskeegee Baptist Church, 2733 Fontana Road, Fontana Dam, NC 28733.
Townson-Smith Funeral Home is assisting the family.
An online register is available at www.townson-smithfuneralhome.com.