Dorothy G. Jenkinson
Dorothy G. Jenkinson
  • December 22, 1918 - March 22, 2017
  • Penny Farms, New York

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Dorothy Klein (O'Keefe) Jenkinson, 98, died March 22, 2017 at Penny Retirement Community in Penny Farms, FL. She was born in Corona, NY, December 22, 1918, the only child of Henry C. and Gertrude Klein.

Following graduation from Flushing High School in Queens, NY she worked as a stenographer for Lane Life Boat and Davit Corp. On August 9, 1941 she married Charles J. O'Keefe in the home of her parents in College Point, NY. In later years she enjoyed sharing memories of their many visits to the 1939 World's Fair in Flushing, NY during their courtship.
The young family settled in Norwich, NY, when Charles was hired as a chemist by Norwich Pharmaceutical Company in 1945. Dorothy was secretary for Cyrus Higley, president of Chenango County National Bank and Trust Company, for a few years before becoming a full time homemaker and mother.

As a lifelong learner Dorothy was always reading to expand her horizons. She developed a number of hobbies that she shared with her friends and family. Her gardens were a bountiful source of produce and flowers, and she took up sewing and knitting making her own clothes. She had an appreciation for dance and loved music motivating her to develop her own skills and enriching her appreciation with piano and organ lessons. Although she was shy about performing, family members were sometimes treated to the occasional practice session at her home and she was ever tolerant of her grandsons as they would make their own music on the organ or piano or sing along with the latest Disney movie soundtrack.

Dorothy's preferred travel experience always included time in the outdoors as she enjoyed our nation's national and state parks. Trips to the Adirondacks, Cape Cod, the Florida Coast, and the American West occupied several decades of her life as she explored the country tent camping and later with a travel trailer. Sitting around a campfire with friends and family brought real joy and she always enjoyed those nights out with the stars overhead and the soundtrack of the natural world whispering from the trees. The fresh pine scent of the campground on Eighth Lake, the burst of flavor from a Georgia peach, and the vast landscapes of the American West were among the memories she carried long into her later years and that she shared with others through 8mm film, photographs, and the vivid stories she told.

Throughout her life, Dorothy was a great supporter of her family's education and beamed with pride and joy at graduation ceremonies and saw the happiness in family gatherings that included births, marriage, and even deaths. She was a meticulous collector of the family history, researching her own family's arrival in the United States in the 19th century, and maintaining an impressive collection of family photos that were carefully labeled and continued to inspire joy and retelling of family stories well into her later years.

After her husband's sudden death in 1979 just before their planned retirement, Dorothy began spending winters in Florida where she met and married Harold Jenkinson in 1984. For many years they continued to spend summers in her Norwich home and winters in Florida eventually settling in the retirement community at Penny Farms.

Although she had declined in recent years, Dorothy lived independently and maintained good health through most of her life and passed away peacefully. She is survived by her son Dr. Robert (Martha) O'Keefe; grandson's Thomas (Rie) and James (Lara) O'Keefe and great-grandchildren Aki, Taka, Ava, Nadine and Rylee O'Keefe.

At Dorothy's request, there will be no calling hours. She will be laid to rest in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Norwich, NY. A celebration of her life will be later in the year. Arrangements have been entrusted to R.J. Fahy Funeral Home 116 N. Broad St. Norwich.