J.W. was born on September 2, 1925 in Crab Orchard, IL to Hester and Lou Amy (Williams) Jenkins. He married Nina Jean Harris on June 3, 1945 in Kentucky. She preceded him in death on December 14, 1999.
He retired as a Master Trooper from the Illinois State Police in 1985 after almost 30 years of dedicated service. After retirement, he was elected to two terms as Mayor of Goreville. In addition he owned and operated Jenkins Christmas Tree Farm for 53 years until 1999 and Jenkins Custom Sawing from 1991 until present. He was a talented builder and union brick layer having built more than forty houses in various Goreville subdivisions which he helped to develop. He also raised cattle and took particular pride in ”bossing” his grandsons.
In addition to cattle, J.W. raised buffalo, goats and miniature horses at various times. He enjoyed travelling to different countries and seeing different things. He enjoyed hanging out drinking coffee and getting biscuits and gravy at H& H in Goreville when he was able.
He was Methodist, but recently began attending Grange Hall Church south of Marion. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him.
Survivors include a daughter, Sheila Billingsley and husband Eddie of Goreville and a son, Randy Jenkins and wife Diana of Goreville.
Five grandchildren: Sarah Jones and husband Jeff, Rachel Jenkins, Joshua Billingsley, Curtis Jenkins and Lauren Jenkins all of Goreville; Great Grandchildren Keegan and Kanon Jones of Goreville; and four nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and three brothers.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at Grange Hall Freewill Baptist Church south of Marion. Rev. Kevin McNeely will officiate. Burial will follow at Busby Chapel Cemetery in Goreville. Visitation will be from 6:00pm until 9:00 pm, Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at Grange Hall Freewill Baptist Church. Blue Funeral Home in Goreville assisted the family with funeral arrangements.
Memorial donations are suggested to Grange Hall Freewill Baptist Church Building Fund and will be accepted at the Blue Funeral Home/ 812 South Broadway/Goreville, IL 62939. For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit bluefuneralhome.com.