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80, of Fox Chapel, on May 16, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Alice Jane; his sons, Davis (Pamela) of Chicago, Ted (Holly) of Andover, Massachusetts, and Walter (Laura) of Pittsburgh; his brother, Marten (Gail) of Pittsburgh; and six grandchildren. As the chief executive for nearly three decades of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Jenkins played an outsize role in shaping the economic revitalization and cultural enrichment of West Virginia and greater Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh native, Jenkins was born in 1932 to Mary Elizabeth Reiber and Paul W. Jenkins, and grew up in Chatham Village on Mount Washington. He attended Shady Side Academy, then Princeton University, where he earned a BA in history. Following his graduation from Princeton, Jenkins attended the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. There he met and married Alice Jane Davis of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the two settled in Pittsburgh in 1957. Jenkins began his career that year as an associate with the law firm Campbell, Thomas & Burke (now Sherrard, German & Kelly, P.C.) later becoming a partner. Jenkins' association with the Benedum Foundation began two years after he joined the law firm when, upon the death of Michael L. Benedum, it became a substantial grant-making institution. At the firm, Jenkins served as counsel, assisting with the various legal affairs involved in running a large foundation. His assistance to the Foundation was so valued that in 1970 he was appointed as the foundation's full-time chief executive. In 1977, he was elected to the Board of Trustees. Even after his retirement, Jenkins continued to serve as a trustee of the Benedum Foundation, and was named Emeritus Trustee for Life in 2003. In 1996 he was named a "Distinguished West Virginian" by then-Governor Gaston Caperton for his role in helping to strengthen education, primary health care, and the arts in the State. This was the first time in the State's history that a non-West Virginian had been so honored. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts recognized him with a Cultural Award. He also received honorary doctoral degrees from University of Charleston and West Virginia University. As an outgrowth of his work with the Foundation, Mr. Jenkins was actively involved as a director of several non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and elsewhere. He was a founding Director, member of the Executive Committee, and Treasurer of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The Trust named him a Lifetime Trustee in 2009 for his leadership and vision in creating Pittsburgh's award-winning Cultural District. While with the Trust, Jenkins helped to spearhead the renovation of the historic Stanley Theatre to create the Cultural District's flagship theatre, The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. Jenkins also served on the Board of the Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia, now known as the Clay Center. He was a trustee and former board chair of Shady Side Academy. He also served the First United Methodist Church as board chair twice as well as treasurer for 26 years. Mr. Jenkins was a devoted husband and father. He was known by friends for his wit, humor and joie de vivre. One of his favorite pastimes was fishing with his family and friends on the lakes and bays of Ontario, Canada. He was a member of the Duquesne Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club, and Iron City Fishing Club. Friends will be received on Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 2-5 p.m. at the JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC., 4900 Centre Ave. at Devonshire St. (www.freyvogelfuneralhome.com). A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh. Memorial contributions may be made to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 803 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15222, or the First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15232.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from May 18 to May 20, 2012
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