James Donald Jenkins passed away peacefully, after a long struggle with congestive heart failure, in Stockton on January 14, 2013. One day after his 98th Birthday celebration. Born in Oakland, CA on January 13, 1915, he met his "One and Only", Mary Mildred Meyling when he was 19 and she was 12. Later, after many supervised visits by her Mother, they wed when she was 19, in 1941. They lived in Stockton, San Jose, Santa Cruz, California and Shady Cove, Oregon and have lived the past 15 years in Lodi.
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A self-made Geologist, Don ultimately graduated with a Masters Degree in Engineering. Don desired to enlist during WWII, but because of his significant engineering contributions to the war effort, he was encouraged to continue his work by and for the U.S Government.
After the war he worked for Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Company for 36 years. As Henry Kaiser's right hand man, and Mr. Kaiser would call Don up at all hours of the night and morning to come and brain storm with him about new projects.
Don was a Pilot, owned his own airplane and traveled throughout the United States and to Canada and Mexico (with his Pilot wife Mary).
Don was the most devoted husband and father, and was always there for his friends. Socializing with family and friends were his preferable pastimes, but flying, hunting, fishing and his RV group were his passions.
Don and his wife Mary faithfully attended Westside Assembly for the past several years. They were active in the Seniors Group events, including a Cruise to Alaska.
They also attended Sunday School and Church as long as health permitted.
He was a Masonic Master Mason, raised October 20th, 1959. His wife Mary was initiated in Fraternity Chapter No. 288, Order of the Eastern Star, Grand Chapter of California, on February 9, 1960, and just celebrated her 50 year award as well.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Mildred Jenkins, son Kenneth Dean Jenkins of Porterville, his beloved Nieces and Nephews, and many, many friends.
A memorial service to celebrate James' wife, will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at Westside Assembly Church, 75 North Crescent Ave. in Lodi, CA. Lunch will follow.
Please sign the online guestbook at www.cherokeememorial.com.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29, 2013