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Dr. Thomas Elbert Jenkins

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Dr.  Thomas Elbert Jenkins Obituary
Dr. Thomas Elbert Jenkins

AGE: 73 • Wilmington

Dr. Thomas Elbert Jenkins, DMD, 73, of Wilmington died peacefully at Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, Delaware on January 5. A dedicated dentist, husband, stepfather, and entertainer, Dr. Jenkins was born on July 31, 1943, in Cambridge, Maryland, the youngest of eight children of William E. and Violet A. Jenkins.?

He grew up in Wilmington, graduated from De La Warr High School in 1961 and earned a BS at Delaware State University in 1965. He graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1973. Dr. Jenkins worked in the Wilmington area for more than four decades, and ran a full-service practice that also treated special needs patients. Most recently, he served as dental director for the Delaware Psychiatric Center. He was a fellow and past president of the Delaware chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry, a member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and the International Academy of Dentistry. As chairman of the board for the Juvenile Awareness Education Program of Delaware, Dr. Jenkins was instrumental in the helping to end street gang violence in the mid-1980s.

He was an enthusiastic member of the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, singing in the choir and participating in many church productions, such as the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar. He was also a vocalist with Opera Delaware for 17 years, performing in productions including Carmen, Stiffelio and Tales of Hoffmann.

When he wasn't working or singing, Dr. Jenkins loved the martial arts - he was a former third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and loved to impress children by breaking boards and bricks with his hand, and he watched every karate movie he could get. He was also an astronomy buff, an ardent follower of track & field and a former season ticket holder of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia 76ers, expecting much more from both teams.

Dr. Jenkins was predeceased by his beloved wife, Jane (nee Werth), who died in 2014. He is survived by a stepson, Chris Dolmetsch, his partner, Christine Graf, of Metuchen, NJ; sisters Rev. Dr. Barbara E. Jones, Carmita M. Hall, Jean C. Pinkston, Marjorie L. Everett (Herbert) of Wilmington, Sylvia Mack Daniels (James) of Neptune, NJ; and brothers William F. Jenkins of Clinton, MD; and Michael E. Jenkins (Rosetta) of Passaic, NJ.

Donations should be made to the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, 730 Halstead Road,?Wilmington, DE 19803. A memorial service will be held at 2 pm Jan. 15 at the church.
Published in The News Journal on Jan. 12, 2017
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