Dr. John Edward Jenkins, age 93 (AKA: Dad, Pop, Grandpa, Papa John, Brother, Uncle Mac and "Chief"), passed away peacefully at his home on June 17, 2022, surrounded by family. John was born July 2, 1928, in Ruston, Louisiana. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 21 years, Mary Louise (Siegmund) Jenkins, with whom he shared the richest, most rewarding quality of life in retirement. John is also survived by sons: William David Jenkins, Edwin Swinton (Janice) Jenkins, Leonard Douglas Jenkins; daughter, Eva Lucile Jenkins; bonus son, William Robert (Patti) Cameron; bonus daughters, Kathryn Janell (Jason) Lewis, Donna Marie (Austin Moss) Jernigan; 21 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews who he truly loved as his own.
John was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Eva Belle (Potter) Jenkins; two sons, George Edward Jenkins and John Thomas Jenkins; his brothers, Douglas Jenkins and Leonard Jenkins; and sister, Louise (Briggs) Jenkins.
John was a veteran of World War II earning the World War II victory medal. His last duty station was at the blimp base in Houma, Louisiana, where he assisted in the base closure. After serving in the Aviation Corps of the United States Navy, he attended Southwestern Louisiana University and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana, in 1951. He did his graduate work at the University of Mississippi, Mississippi College, and Louisiana State University. He received a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1976. John was awarded a fellowship at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1977 where his duties included directing the University Concert Band. He received a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1978. John's experience in education included teaching music and directing bands in Natchez, Mississippi, Denham Springs, Louisiana and Harvey, Louisiana. He was supervisor of music in Natchez-Adams County Public Schools and also served the school system as guidance counselor and assistant principal and was director of bands and instructor of music at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, Mississippi, until his retirement, then did adjunct instruction after retirement for four more years. John has held membership in the American School Band Director's Association, Music Educators National Conference, First Chair of America, American School Band and Orchestra Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, American Federation of Musicians, Phi Beta Mu, Alpha Lambda Tau, state and local educational and musical associations, charter member and president of the Kiwanis Club, charter member of Lions Club International, Mississippi Music Educators Association and the American Legion.
Besides school and educational activities, he conducted the Natchez summer recreation band and the Natchez Opera Guild, played with the Jefferson Parish Pops band and Shrine Circus band, was a member of the Concert Choir of New Orleans, sang with the New Orleans Opera and Eastern Shore Choral Society, as well as played and was guest conductor of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi concert band, and was band manager of the folk band — Wildwood Flour. John served as a band and orchestra adjudicator and clinician in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
John was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church where he sang, directed church choirs for over 51 years and taught Sunday School.
He is remembered by those fortunate to have known him as teacher, professor, conductor, band director, choir director, musician, actor, husband, father and a faithful servant of God and of good.
To celebrate a life well spent of integrity and the very best qualities of a man, it almost rises above bereavement and loss. God has truly blessed us with his presence.
"Well done thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Visitation was held Thursday, June 23, 2022, from 10 a.m. until noon at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay Minette, Alabama, with the Service of Resurrection at noon. Graveside was at 1:30 p.m. at the Alabama State Veterans Cemetery on Highway 225, Spanish Fort, Alabama.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to First Presbyterian Church, Post Office Box 1508, Bay Minette, Alabama 36507 (or) city of Hattiesburg concert band, c/o Sherman Hong, 90 W. Shore Drive, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39402.