James Edward Jenkins
James Edward Jenkins
  • January 30, 1929 - September 17, 2017
  • Huntsville, Alabama

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James E. Jenkins

January 30, 1929 – September 17, 2017

James Edward Jenkins, 88, of Huntsville passed away, September 17, 2017. Born in 1929 in Memphis, Tennessee to Thomas Doris Jenkins and Rosa Lee Jenkins, he grew up in Memphis with his extended family very close. James enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and was stationed at the Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. After being decorated and honorably discharged in 1952, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1957 through the GI Bill. Upon his graduation, he was stationed at a NASA field office in Los Angeles as an engineer with the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center working on the Apollo program. He spent 30 years with NASA-MSFC where he was awarded a NASA Silver Snoopy Award.

While living in Los Angeles, he met and married Sylvia. They welcomed two daughters while living in California before relocating to Huntsville in 1970. He was a dedicated and loving husband and father who showed his love most powerfully through giving his time and gifts to those he loved. He was a quiet man who made a bigger impact on people than he realized, especially in his care for his wife in her final years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother,Thomas, and his wife of 50 years, Sylvia. He is survived by his daughters, Susan Jenkins of Atlanta and Cathy Jenkins of Nashville, and his nephew Phil Jenkins (Janet) of Houston, Texas.

Visitation will be at 12:45 PM, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 followed by a funeral mass at 1:30 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Burial with military honors will follow at Valhalla Memory Gardens with arrangements by Valhalla Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Choose Life of North Alabama. Please sign his guest registry at www.valhallafunerals.com.