August 31, 1933 – July 25, 2019
Lou Jenkins of Turlock, California, passed away on July 25, 2019.
Lou was born in Dinuba, California, and was the youngest child of Arlo and Marjorie (Stevenson) Gillen. Her parents and siblings (Robert Gillen, Denton Gillen and Lee Ann Richardson) all predecease her. Her father was a preacher and her family were all known as great acapella singers. She was a resident of California her entire life, living at times in Dinuba, Riverdale, McKittrick, Auberry and Turlock.
She graduated as valedictorian from Dinuba High School (1951) and received her A.A. degree from Reedley College (1953). She had planned to attend Harding College in Arkansas but a certain young man changed her mind. She had met Duane Jenkins at church in Dinuba and they were married in July, 1953. At the time of his passing, they had celebrated 64 anniversaries.
Duane was a teacher and they lived in the towns where he taught throughout his career. First in Riverdale where they lived until 1958. Three of their children were born during that time. They then moved to McKittrick and their fourth child was born. Lou was a stay at home mom and homemaker, at which she excelled.
During their time in McKittrick, Lou returned to college majoring in Education at the Fresno State Extension program based at Bakersfield College. She noted that she was a Fresno State grad without ever having taken a course in Fresno. She attended night classes and did her student teaching in Bakersfield. She graduated as a Phi Kappa Phi which means she excelled in academics also.
In 1967, the family made the move to the foothills where Duane was employed at Auberry Elementary School. Lou also put her credential to work as a substitute teacher for many years at several mountain schools along with a few full-time contracts when asked to take them on. She preferred substituting. Lou was a member of the Sierra Women’s Service Club, Sierra Faculty Wives, Lions Club (Spouse) and the Sierra Oaks Senior Center and participated in many other community activities.
Throughout their marriage Lou and Duane were a team, as parents and in all their many endeavors. They both believed in education as a means to better the lives of everyone. He was a coach and she was both a fan and worker. They were involved with all their children’s many activities and also supported and encouraged many others. They directed and organized many educational and academic activities and attended games, meets, matches, bees, speeches and debates in order to do so and continued to support former students and others, even after retirement. They were especially proud to also support their grandchildren in all their endeavors (especially athletic). They also followed many college sports and teams and Lou was an avid Giants fan.
Lou and Duane were great travelers. When the children were young it was mostly to visit family in distant parts of the United States travelling by car. After retirement they expanded their range and mode reaching Europe and China by air; cruising to Alaska, Hawaii, through the Panama Canal, and down the California coast; and riding the rails of Amtrak pretty much wherever they go, including across Canada.
But the time came to slow down and a move was made to Turlock to be closer to family. They adjusted to a smaller life but continued to be active at church and at their senior complex. They were able to do some travelling with their children and Lou’s last trip was a cruise earlier this spring with her youngest daughter. They always made great friends wherever they were.
Lou was a faithful and active member of the Church of Christ wherever she lived.
She is survived by her children: Duane (Melva) Jenkins, Jr. of Tijeras, NM; Dana (Matt) Rickard of Turlock, CA; Gil (Diana) Jenkins formerly of Selma, CA; and Alana (Skip) Brown of Meridian, OK; 10 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Her memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at the Turlock Church of Christ, 801 N. Tully Road, Turlock.
Memorial donations can be made to World Bible School, PO Box 2169, Cedar Park, TX 78630 (give.worldbibleschool.net); Agape Villages, 3160 Crow Canyon Place, Suite 120, San Ramon, CA 94583, (agapevillages.org/get-involved/donate/); or In Search of the Lord’s Way, (searchtv.org).