February 27, 2015
Born in Berwyn, IL
Resided in Athens, NY
Born to Matthew Jenkins and Marion Shelby in 1938, Bob grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois with his parents and his elder brother Richard R. Jenkins who survives him. As a child, Bob worked his way up through the Boy Scout ranks with determination and joy and he went so far as to become a proud Eagle Scout. As a young man, he enlisted in the navy and attained the rank of lieutenant, eventually serving as the Boarding Officer on the U.S. destroyer off the coast of Cuba during the Bay of Pigs blockade, and spent several long days and nights with a Kalashnikov by his side waiting to see if he would be called upon to board a Russian ship.
Bob was a proud graduate of DePaul Academy High School, and Loyola University where he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He began doctoral studies at The University of Chicago where he focused on his field of interest, 19th Century German Political Thought. Eventually he moved away from the pursuit of a life in academia and turned his considerable intellect, curiosity and people skills into a long and successful career in investment banking. Bob believed that education was essential for reasons both practical and deeply personal. He counseled his children to seek a wide education in the Liberal Arts and then to pursue focused professional training. Bob's children attended Smith College and Boston University for their undergraduate study and went on to achieve Masters of Fine Arts from Yale and New York University.
Bob is survived by Mary Ellen Jenkins, his beloved wife of 47 years, whom he adored. She was a match for him in every way, sharing and expanding his interests, humor, considerable intellect and gift of stubbornness. Their life together was a shared adventure and a true partnership. Bob is survived by his children Tracy and David Jenkins both of whom knew themselves to be deeply loved and understood by their caring father, and their respective spouses, Chester Jenkins (who took the family's surname upon his marriage) and Josie Whittlesey, both of whom were loved by Bob as though they were his children. Bob was the beloved grandfather of Ada Jenkins, age 7, who found him to be an endlessly warm, safe, silly and extremely loving companion. On many occasions, Ada referred to Grandpa Bob as her 'best friend'. Bob leaves behind his nieces and nephews Mark Jenkins, Paul Jenkins, Peter Jenkins, Laura Jenkins and Thomas Jenkins, all of whom enjoyed knowing their uncle's ever-friendly voice and wonderful counsel were only a phone call away.
There will be a memorial service for Bob Jenkins in Chicago this spring. In lieu of flowers, Bob would have wanted you to go out for a nice meal with your loved ones and raise a glass in his honor. If you felt you absolutely must send something, he would have hoped you'd make a donation to his daughter-in-law's remarkable prison outreach group, Drama Club http://www.dramaclubnyc.org.
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Catskill, NY USA 12414