William Karl "W. K." Jenkins, 91, Adrian, Missouri, died Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at his home. Masonic services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Adrian United Methodist Church in Adrian with funeral to follow. Burial will be in Crescent Hill Cemetery in Adrian. Memorial contributions may be made to the church, VFW Post 1935, or Butler Masonic Lodge #254 AF&AM.
W. K. was born May 11, 1924 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Hubert Alexander and Dallas Ince Jenkins. He lived with his grandparents near Crescent Hill, north of Adrian, and graduated from Adrian High School. At an early age, he developed his business skills by trapping rabbits and selling eggs. W. K. bought his first farm at the age of 19. On December 10, 1944 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, he was united in marriage to his wife of 71 years, Mary Earlene Robinson. To this union 6 children were born.
W. K. served his country in World War II in the Merchant Marines and saw action on “D”Day at the initial invasion of Normandy. He spoke little of his military service but injured his shoulder during service at Normandy. He began his career as a journeyman carpenter and worked for Safeway stores and later at Allied Signal (Bendix) for 35 years. He began his career in ranching raising registered Hereford cattle. He purchased a new John Deere A with a 2 bottom plow in the early 1950’s.
W. K’s humble childhood gave him a desire to work hard, to succeed and to value a college education which he did not have the financial means to acquire. He listed among his greatest achievements that each of his 6 children were graduates of the University of Missouri-Columbia. He instilled in his children the values of hard work, determination, and critical thinking. He achieved much in life by his relentless energy and sheer determination. This drive to succeed, work hard, and stay busy, was with him his entire life. He had activities and goals planned that would have taken years to accomplish.
In later years, when he spent less time on his business ventures, he devoted many hours to the Masonic Lodge, Adrian and the VFW Post #1935. W. K. was the unofficial humorist. The habit of telling stories got him into trouble more than once with his wife. He was a truly unique individual that saw the world from his own perspective.
W. K. Jenkins was preceded in death by daughter-in-law, Barbara Jenkins, brothers, Fred Jenkins and John Jenkins. He is survived by his wife, Earlene Jenkins, of the home; children, Karl Jenkins of Rich Hill, Robert Jenkins and wife, Kris of Rich Hill, Mary Anne Green and husband, Steve of Adrian, Karla Jenkins Wilson and husband, Trent of Butler, Hugh Jenkins and wife, Marcia of Butler, Patricia Inglish and husband, Mike of California, Missouri; 14 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren, and one brother, Jerry Jenkins and wife, Betty of Bartlett,Tennessee.