October 10, 1929 - April 15, 2012 TULSA Norma "Lou" Jenkins was born October 10, 1929 in Ray, Arizona to William Washington Spurlock and Norma Louise Brown-Spurlock. She died April 15, 2012 in Oklahoma City after a courageous battle with an array of medical problems. Lou received a B.A. in Letters and a M.A. in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Her life was filled with service and activism, especially for children. At the age of 75, one could find Lou on a street corner in Oklahoma City protesting the war in Iraq. She was a passionate crusader against violence of all types, including war and child abuse. Lou started her career as a teacher, author and religious educator. After she returned to O.U. for her M.A., she worked for the Department of Human Services where she supervised a group home for adolescent girls. Following, she was the assistant director of the Oklahoma County Juvenile Shelter, the court liaison for DHS, the director of Oklahoma County Juvenile Bureau, a family builder therapist at Chisholm Trail Mental Health Center, and the founding director of the Exchange Club Parent-Child Center. Lou's primary career goal was to stop even one child from being abused. After her retirement, she was a Consultant/Trainer for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services and contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to the ACLU and Legal Aid of Oklahoma. Raised in the Episcopal Church, she later was active in the Unitarian Church in Oklahoma City where she served as the Religious Education Director when her children were young. A true "Renaissance woman," Lou loved gardening, art, music, animals and reading. Heard at the reception honoring Lou after she won the prestigious Ann Hardy Award for child abuse prevention, "Unfailingly caring, loyal, hardworking and above all, ethical and trustworthy", "Many times Lou risked her job because she stood up for the best interests of the child", & "A focused, dedicated professional, as well as a loving mother and grandmother." Lou is survived by her children, Leslie Jackson and Steve Jenkins; her granddaughter, Megan; her brother, Bill Spurlock; and two nieces she was crazy about, Rebecca and Cindy. She also considered her daughter-in-law, Sherri Self, to be a second daughter who she loved very much. The world will be a little less vibrant with her passing.
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Published in The Oklahoman on April 20, 2012