Family Visitation: The family will greet friends on Friday evening May 18, 2018, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Steen Funeral Home in Greenfield.
Funeral Services: Will be held on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Greenfield with burial at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel, Iowa, at 11:00 a.m. on June 7, 2018, with full military graveside rites conducted by the Greenfield American Legion Head-Endres Post No. 265 and V.F.W. Post No. 5357. A luncheon will be held at the church immediately following the services at the church. Pastor Eric Schubert will officiate the service.
Memorials: To the Dick Jenkins memorial fund to be established by the family at a later date.
Richard Alvin Jenkins was born March 27, 1932 to Idris Alice (Seaton) Jenkins and Alvin Hudson Jenkins of Cameron, Missouri. The youngest of four, Richard contracted Rheumatic fever as a small child which left him with a heart condition that precluded him from participating in most sports.
He gained his love of music from Idris, who was an accomplished piano player, and began singing performance at the age of six. In fifth grade he began lessons on the Baritone horn. He was restricted from other activities, so music became his “sport.” Because of this he excelled at both instrumental and vocal music competitions throughout high school.
After graduation from Cameron High School he attended Northwest Missouri State College in Maryville for one year. Upon receiving a notice to report for a military draft physical he was cleared for military service despite his previous restrictions and health issues. Physicians credit the exercise of his lungs and heart through music as essentially curing most of the effects of his childhood illness. He was happy to have passed the military physical and followed the example of his older brother Roy by enlisting in the United States Navy.
Richard served as an Electronics Technician aboard the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge throughout the Korean conflict. He eventually attained the rank of Petty Officer Third Class. He was always proud of the military service he and his brothers Roy and George gave during WWII and Korea.
After being discharged from the Navy in 1956 he returned to Northwest Missouri State College where he completed his degree in music education with certifications in K-12 vocal and instrumental music. While at Northwest, he served as drum major for the marching band and was appointed student director of the symphonic band his senior year. He also met and fell in love with Ardith Linn of Griswold, Iowa.
Following graduation both Richard and Ardith received teaching contracts at Griswold Community School District. It was at Griswold where friends started calling him by the nickname “Dick.” Richard and Ardith were married August 1, 1959 at Faith Lutheran Church in Griswold.
In 1962 they moved to Pocahontas, Iowa and then to Humboldt in 1963 where he was the band director at Humboldt Junior High School for the next thirty years. During his tenure the junior high bands performed three times for the Iowa Bandmasters Association as “clinic bands.” This is the highest musical honor a band can receive in Iowa. On two occasions he was the guest conductor of the Northeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band.
Outside of the school Dick and Ardith became the directors of The New Way Singers, a Christian youth choir based at Humboldt United Methodist Church. This group traveled the upper midwest leading church services and performing concerts. Some of the venues include Hilton Coleseum in Ames for the Iowa Annual Conference of the church, The Dakota’s Area Annual Conference, Mount Rushmore, and the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
As other hobbies he loved fishing and boating, woodworking, and was an Advanced Class Ham radio operator with the call sign N0DZU.
Dick is survived by one sister Margie Brown of Warsaw, MO, six nieces, one nephew, two sons Richard Linn Jenkins of Monticello and Andrew George Jenkins of Nevada, daughter-inlaw Pam Jenkins, granddaughters Arianne Nichole Jenkins of North Liberty, Iowa and Ashley Lauren Jenkins of Monticello.
Dick is preceded in death by his parents Alvin and Idris Jenkins, His brothers George Jenkins and Roy Jenkins. His nephews Michael and David, His Daughter-in-law Lisa Shepherd, and his beloved wife Ardith.
He leaves behind family and many former students and colleagues in the who continue share his love of music.
“My live has been a poor attempt to imitate the man,
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.” - D. Fogelberg