Ronald W. Jenkins, was born on the 14th day of August 1950, in Johnson City, Tennessee, and passed from his life on Earth into Heaven on the 7th day of July, 2016, at the age of 65 years, while located in Limestone, Tennessee. Jenkins was a Son of Ms. Peggy Hutchinson Jenkins and Mr. James Herman Jenkins, Sr., and a Grandson of Ms. M. Vivian Harmon Jenkins and Mr. F. Herman Jenkins. Jenkins was pre-deceased by his youngest Son, Captain Robert Herman Jenkins, U.S.M.C. He is survived by Children, Ms. Kimberly M. Adkins (Spouse James), Ms. April C. Henderson (Spouse James), Mr. Ronald W. Jenkins II (Spouse Stella), Grandchildren, Kirsten, Mikayla, Kaitlynn, Dylan, Braydon, Corbin and Ronald III a/k/a “Big R” and Brother Mr. James Herman “Butch” Jenkins, Jr.
Jenkins accepted the Lord as his personal Savior at an early age. His Grandmother Jenkins, who had taught 1st through 8th Grades in a one-room schoolhouse near Old Butler, Tennessee, taught Jenkins to read utilizing the King James Version of the Holy Bible as the Text. Later during his life, Jenkins was blessed to have had the opportunity to read the entire 1611 King James Version of the Bible.
Jenkins attended Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Jonesboro Elementary School and graduated from Asbury Elementary School where he served as Eighth Grade Class President and was Class Salutatorian. Jenkins was a Member of BSA Troop 44 and a Charter Member of Explorer Post 44. Jenkins graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1968 serving as Senior Class Vice-President, earning 4th in Class Academic Standing, and was a Member of the National Honor Society. He was selected to participate in the Washington County, Tennessee, Youth in Government Day during his Senior Year at which time he was elected to serve as Student “County Judge” by the Participants from the Washington County High Schools. He received additional academic recognition while in High School. Jenkins earned a total of five Athletic Letters in Football and Track at Jonesboro High School. Jenkins also was selected to receive Honorable Mention on the All Watauga Conference Football Team during his Senior Year of High School.
Jenkins earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, completing a five-year academic program in four calendar years. While pursuing studies at the University of Tennessee, Jenkins earned Membership into The National Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi, and earned Membership into, and was elected President of the University of Tennessee Chapter of, Eta Kappa Nu, the National Electrical Engineering Honor Society. Jenkins also participated in the Army ROTC Program for a period of two years while earning his BSEE Degree during which he earned the Cadet Rank of SSgt. and reportedly scored second highest in the Cadet Brigade in aptitude testing. After receiving his BSEE, Jenkins was admitted into Graduate School in the College of Engineering, University of Tennessee, to pursue a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He was awarded a coveted and highly competitive position as a Graduate Assistant to complete the Master of Science Program with a full Scholarship and GA stipend. Jenkins also was offered a position as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering, University of Tennessee, which personally was offered to him by the Head of the Metallurgical Engineering Department. Jenkins respectfully had declined several commercial private employment opportunities and enrollment in other Graduate Programs in various locations to pursue the aforesaid graduate Degree at the University of Tennessee. Jenkins was assigned an Office Space and was engaged in preliminary discussions with Professors about Thesis Topics when he was presented with an opportunity to participate in the Vietnam War. When Jenkins received a Guarantee that he physically would be based in Southeast Asia and participating in the conflict within a few months, he resigned his position as a Graduate Assistant in the Electrical Engineering Department of the College of Engineering, University of Tennessee, and commenced a very interesting journey.
After spending some time at facilities of the United States Air Force, including Kirtland AFB, and a Missile Range in New Mexico, Jenkins reported to Dover AFB to deploy with a Team to a storied Tactical Fighter Wing, nicknamed “The Wolf Pack”, of the 7th Air Force, PACAF, United States Air Force, in Southeast Asia, which Team was tasked with setting up facilities, conducting Ops Checks of Aircraft and Weapons Systems and launching hot air-to-ground Combat Missions with prototype systems within forty-eight (48) hours after touching down at the airfield and which task the Team successfully completed. Tasked Missions included convoy interdiction, troop interdiction, accurately striking and destroying tactical targets and strategic targets, providing Ground Combat Air Support and striking and destroying Targets of Opportunity. The weapons system with which Jenkins deployed was a precision guided air-to-ground munitions system, Laser Guided Bombs, which provided the capability of single aircraft ingress and delivery of munitions on either a stationary target or a mobile target without the necessity of a two-aircraft “Hunter-Killer” aircraft team which previously had resulted in increased ingress vulnerability and which had required orbiting of the “Hunter” aircraft over a target, or over a target area, with increased susceptibility to being hit with incoming AAA. With the very limited number of prototype systems, which comprised the entire USAF/DOD inventory, all Missions for which the systems were “fragged” or scheduled successfully were launched and Mission Objectives were accomplished. All Team movements, locations and Missions were Classified at that time. Jenkins’ Family sometimes learned of his PCS Base location after the information was cleared for dissemination, but was not apprised either of movements or Missions or all the locations. In fact, Jenkins’ eldest child was born while Jenkins was based in Southeast Asia and was three (3) days old before Jenkins learned of his Birth. He did not know the name of his eldest Child for another two weeks when he received correspondence through the APO. After various diplomatic Accords were obtained and Peace Treaties signed with the termination of Missions being launched in or into Southeast Asia countries, Jenkins returned to CONUS and was assigned to a Tactical Fighter Test Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida.
During time in the Pacific Theatre, Jenkins had transited through Yokota AB, Japan, spending a night in the VOQ/BOQ, through which Air Base his Father had transited when returning from Japan after World War II and through which his youngest Son later transited during a Summer Cruise/Tour while a Midshipman at USNA – three generations had set foot upon and spent a bit of time aboard the same facility. More significantly, however, Mr. James H. Jenkins, Sr., had been involved in procuring Allied control of the Airfield by his participation in the Liberation of the Philippines. It is interesting and believed to be worthy of Note that a very poignant moment was shared by Mr. James Herman Jenkins, Sr., then Midshipman-Select Robert Herman Jenkins and Ron Jenkins when the three of them suddenly came upon and observed in front of them at the Naval Academy Museum aboard the United States Naval Academy facility the display of the table and table cloth upon which the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, or Peace Treaty, was subscribed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to end hostilities between the Allied powers and Japan during WWII, while the three were touring and marking time the day before USNA “I-Day” for the young Man who would become Captain Robert Herman Jenkins, USMC.
After being attached to a Test Squadron at Eglin AFB for approximately eighteen months or so, Jenkins then personally was selected by the CINCUSAFE, who was the former CINCPACAF, to be a Member of a “Hand-Picked” Team to deploy to a classified site, a “front line Air Base” in the NATO Theatre of Operations, in two weeks time to establish and to supply precision guided air-to-ground munitions capability. Tactical Fighter Wing to which Jenkins was attached and the weapons system were tasked with specific Tactical Mission Objectives in the event the “Cold War” evolved or erupted into an active combat situation or an invasion by then-Warsaw Pact Nations. After a period of time, one person from the initial deployment Team was selected to remain as Engineer-In-Charge. Jenkins successfully met the requirements and was very honored and humbled to be selected by USAFE as the single Team Member to remain in NATO. Jenkins remained in the NATO Theatre of Operations and adjoining regions, for approximately three years thereafter assisting in maintaining USAFE Operational Readiness, training Personnel and deploying on Training Missions over a wide-ranging area. During this time, Jenkins also enjoyed the opportunity to Brief the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chairman of the Senate Arms Committee, various Cabinet Members and other individuals. Jenkins also was the first American to Brief a Squadron of Pilots of the British Royal Air Force, British Ministry of Defense, in regard to the operation of the air-to-ground system which, along with its follow-on successor systems, the United States Air Force, other NATO Forces and Allies of the United States successfully have deployed and accomplished Missions with a high degree of success in most every armed conflict since that time to this date. Jenkins silently was especially grateful and relieved when he learned that the precision guided munitions with which he had been involved in developing and deploying years earlier in Southeast Asia and NATO were used in defending positions that his youngest Son, Captain Robert Herman Jenkins, USMC, occupied during his four Combat Tours in Iraq.
Jenkins was a Pilot and was honored to have been selected by fellow Pilots to serve as President of the Spangdahlem Air Base Aero Club during 1976-1977. Jenkins flew over and into a number of European Countries recreationally as Pilot-in-Command taking his Family and USAF Personnel who were not Pilots or Aircrew Members on airborne sightseeing tours at no charge to them. Generally, these flights were accomplished in a fully-instrumented USAF T-41 in which Jenkins maintained currency and proficiency while in Europe. Jenkins also was a Member of the RTAFB Ubon Officers Open Mess (OOM), Hahn AB OOM, Spangdahlem AB OOM and Andrews AFB OOM. He traveled, was billeted and was quartered on USAF Orders as a GS-13 Equiv./O-5 Equiv. Jenkins frequently was assigned to locations designated by letters such as “Site X’ or “Site Y” and was not at liberty to divulge the geographic location of the Site or Theatre of Operations in which the Site was located. Many procedures developed by Jenkins on his own initiative during training and operations to improve efficiency and turn-around times were adopted and incorporated into printed Technical Manuals and Technical Orders to be used by personnel who engaged in combat operations and maintenance of the weapons system and its associated components. In transit, Jenkins logged a number of hours as a passenger aboard MAC C-130 and C-141 Aircraft, including trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flights. Overall, Jenkins traveled and resided in excess of twenty-seven (27) countries overseas on and over several continents, most of which his Family members still are unaware, and in the majority of the States of the United States of America. While based PCS with two USAFE Tactical Fighter Wings in the Federal Republic of Germany, Jenkins had TDY Assignments from Great Britain to Spain to the Mediterranean Region. Jenkins recalled that the best Chow Hall breakfast he ever ate was at Zaragoza AB and the best Chow Hall mashed potatoes he ever ate were aboard a Naval Air Station in the Med – and that Old Country Boy sure did like mashed potatoes. He was fortunate literally to have completely or circumnavigated the World. After practicing law for three years, Jenkins was contacted and invited to become involved again with introducing the guided munitions system to additional components of the USAF which he did during a hiatus from practicing law from approximately 1983 through 1985. He also spent time at Andrews AFB and Nellis AFB during this time period. Before returning to the practice of law in 1985, Jenkins additionally worked with in-house modifications and testing of an Air-to-Ground missile system the progeny of which remain in the active Inventory of the United States DOD and other allied countries and are utilized in Combat scenarios almost daily in the Global War on Terror.
Jenkins was honored to be involved in, and was dedicated to his minor role in, the Defense of our Country and would have continued to be involved, but the passing of his Grandfather Jenkins, who was like a Father to him during his formative years, caused him to believe that he should return to Upper East Tennessee to raise his budding Family so they would know their surviving Relatives, the people of the Appalachian Region and the Mountains of East Tennessee in which his Caucasian ancestors had farmed since as early as 1791, A.D., and in which his Native American Ancestors had farmed, hunted and resided for a few centuries. Despite his desire to continue in the work he enjoyed, to which he was dedicated and which he believed contributed to our National Defense, Jenkins decided to attempt to gain entry into Law School with a view toward practicing Law and raising his Family in Upper East Tennessee. That was the sole reason Jenkins went to Law School. Jenkins sat for the Law School Admission Test in a cold classroom at an Army Kaserne in the Federal Republic of West Germany on a very cold December 1976 Morning and, very much to his surprise, scored in the top nine percentile (top 9%) of individuals who took the LSAT worldwide during that testing cycle. Jenkins jokingly attributed the top 9% score to his cold, trembling hands which did not mark the circles on the multiple-choice test that he intended them to mark.
Jenkins applied only to the University of Tennessee School of Law and was accepted. Jenkins earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Tennessee. While in Law School, Jenkins was selected by the Faculty to serve as a Student Instructor of Research and Writing III. Jenkins also was honored to have been accepted as a Member of The Tennessee Law Review. After serving as an Assistant Editor and as Research Editor, Jenkins was honored to be selected to lead The Tennessee Law Review as Editor in Chief for the publication of the Summer 1979 and Autumn 1979 Editions. Jenkins also submitted a Casenote Article which was published in the Tennessee Law Review while he was serving as an Assistant Editor. Jenkins also joined the University of Tennessee Flying Club and occasionally flew the Club’s Orange and White Cessna 172 to the Tri-Cities.
Jenkins enjoyed practicing Martial Arts commencing with his initial formal training in Tae Kwon Do while in Southeast Asia under the tutelage of a former Captain in the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) Army. Jenkins earned and held the Rank of Third Degree Black Belt in the International Tae Kwon Do Alliance, later re-named Tiger Rock Martial Arts. Jenkins was selected by Students as 2004 Instructor of the Year at the Kingsport TKD Academy and also was elected and served as President of the Black Belt Club for one year at the same Academy or Dojang. Jenkins successfully competed and placed, or medaled in Free-Sparring in each Local, Regional and National/International TKD Alliance Tournament in which he participated.
Jenkins was Ordained and served as a Deacon from the 25th day of March 2007 until is death, on the Board of Deacons of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church of which he had been a member for over fifty-five years. He also was honored to teach the Adult Men’s Sunday School Class as long as his work commitments would allow him time adequately to prepare for Classes. Jenkins also served in several Church Committee positions including Chairman of the Captain Robert Herman Jenkins, USMC, Memorial Playground Committee, the United States Flag Committee and a Pastor Search Committee. Jenkins was a member of the Church Choir and sang solos from time to time at various Services.
Jenkins was a Member of The Thailand-Laos-Cambodia Brotherhood. He held a strong commitment to the goals and projects of The TLC Brotherhood in assisting Thailand and Laos in constructing Schools in Rural Areas of Southeast Asia and in providing Scholarships. Jenkins also adhered to their creed of “Secret Warriors, Secret Peacemakers.”
During December 2004, Jenkins was appointed by the Town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, Board of Mayor and Aldermen, to the position of Assistant Municipal Judge for the Town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, in which capacity he served voluntarily until his death. One of the cases which came before Jenkins for a Hearing was included in a News Broadcast by Mr. Paul Harvey. Jenkins had listened to Paul Harvey News at many locations around the World through the years on AFN and other broadcast networks and was amused that a case he Heard was considered a National news item. He also was honored to have received the AV Pre-Eminent Rating by his Peers through the Martindale-Hubbell® anonymous Peer Review system which is conferred for the “Highest Possible Rating Both in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards Reflecting the Confidential Opinions of the Bar and Judiciary.” He also served voluntarily in the capacity of Staff Attorney for Washington County-Johnson City Emergence Medical Services, inc., for a period of approximately seven years until he resigned the position due to a relocation of his Law Practice. Jenkins also qualified and served as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator.
Jenkins was a member of the invitation only American Board of Trial Advocates which requires members to have served in the capacity of sole Attorney or Lead Attorney in a specified number of Jury Trials. Jenkins also was a member of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, the American Judges Association, the Tennessee Municipal Judges Association, the Barbershop Harmony Society and the Appalachian Express Chorus. Jenkins was listed in a number of “Who’s Who” Publications in successive years. Jenkins was admitted to practice in all Tennessee State Courts, Courts of Appeal and the Tennessee Supreme Court as well as in the United States District Courts, in the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and in the United States Supreme Court. He also had tried cases in Virginia with Associated Virginia Counsel.
He was very thankful for his Native American Heritage which was passed along by his Paternal Great, Great-Grandmother Wilson, who was a Member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and her Son, Great-Grandfather William C. “Billy” Wilson, a Native of “Old Butler,” Tennessee. Jenkins also was a Tennessee Colonel.
Through the years, folks assigned a number of Nicknames to Jenkins to which he never objected and by which he always was honored, such as the following: “Snoopy”, “Luigi”, “Master Blaster”, “Bird Dog”, “Spook”, “Colombo” by a Jury in Carter County, Tennessee, “Matlock” by an AT&T Engineer/Attorney, Hillbilly, Tennessee, Data and a few others which would require too much explanation. Of course, he most enjoyed being called Dad and Pappaw.
Jenkins requested that there be no visitation and no formal Funeral Service. Burial of his earthly remains has been completed with a graveside service conducted solely by Family Members in accordance with his request.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church Memory Garden Fund P.O. Box 246 Limestone, TN 37681.
No currently DOD Classified information is included in this Obituary. There was a considerable amount of information which was not included due to concerns about Classification and Re-Classification. Jenkins was granted initial and updated Security Clearances for many years and very carefully protected Classified information and hardware with which he was entrusted and very carefully guarded the Clearances granted to me.
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|EULOGIES & CONDOLENCES|
|I was blessed to work with Ron on the Virginia cases he had with Tennessee Farm Bureau, and only learned of his death today.
He and I were both "country boys," so we got along famously from our initial contact.
Ron was so humble and down to earth that I had no idea of his many accomplishments until I read his obituary. From our conversations, I knew that he was whip-smart, and just a good guy, but I was unaware of what an accomplished man he was.
In our last conversation, before his death, Ron and I laughed a lot, commiserated with each others' state of being bald, and ended the conversation with the idea that we would talk soon. We never got this opportunity.
Many prayers and best wishes to the family of a fine gentleman, and great lawyer. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues at the bar, but, not as much, I am sure, as by his dear family.
|I was saddened today to hear of Mr. Jenkins’
passing. My engineering firm has worked with Mr.
Jenkins over the past several years, and we all
enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside him due
to his thoughtful, courteous, and professional
All of us at Parham Engineering Consultants would
like to offer our most sincere condolences. We
hope that each of you can find comfort in having
had Ron as a member of your family. May God
bless you and provide each of you peace during
this time of bereavement.
|It was a great pleasure to have known Ronnie at Jonesboro High School and had the pleasure to have played football and track with him a remember that we at JHS. I remember the times at JHS when we had the wall-lockers that were the closest to the administrative office and some of the fun we had between classes. God Bless you RJ and it was a pleasure to know you as we grew up.|
|My thoughts and love are with you all in this time
of loss. I knew the man by reputation only, and
from everyone i have talk to he was spoke of in
the highest regards. He was a loving family man
who went above and beyond his call of duty. He was
an outstanding man both at home and to his country
and community. Hats off to him. May the angels
rejoice in your presence today and always. |
|My condolences on your loss. Attorney Jenkins was a great person and I enjoyed working with him. He will be greatly missed.|
|My sincere condolences to you, Ron's family. I worked with Ron for a number of years as his paralegal, and I learned so much from him. He was a brilliant attorney, but so much more. . .a man of integrity and compassion, who will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.|
|I am sorry to hear of my friend, Ron's passing. I was out of state when this unfortunate event occurred, and only learned about it upon returning to the office today.
I first met Ron my first year in practice in 1985 when my father sent me to one of Judge Musick's Washington County Circuit Court docket calls at the old Ashe Street Courthouse in Johnson City. When I first met Ron, I thought: "This guy is so shy and retiring, how can he be a lawyer?" As I grew to know and love Ron, I can tell you that his shy, quiet, humble nature, was his persona: no bragadoccio, no calling attention to himself, just quiet humility: like all of us should have.
I knew that Ron was an extremely smart man with three degrees, including two post-graduate degrees. But to learn of (a) his ability in tae kwon do, (b) his 5 athletic letters in high school, (c) the special ops missions he served on in the military and (d) the fact that he was (1) a pilot and (2) basically, a preacher, no wonder he always worked 20 hours a day. Ron had more energy than 20 of us put together.
Kim and family, my deepest condolences to you. But know that now your dad is with your brother in Heaven...and they can now work in happiness for the Better Good.
||Angie Smith, Lit Specialist ERIE Insurance
|Ron was the kindest and proper man I ever met. He spent many years working with and on ERIE's Litigation files successfully. He never talked about his past amazing. Worthy of a book. So enjoyed working with him. Hardest working man I ever knew. And was known to everyone the same. My condolences to his family. He can truly say he touched many lives and made a difference in this world and lived a very selfless life. God Bless and my deepest sympathy to his family may his memories live within all he has touched forever. |
|Ron was my Attorney at one time. He was the best and
always so nice. I am so sorry for your loss.|
|Thank you to all for your kind words and
condolences. I enjoy hearing some of these
stories and memories. I would be delighted to talk
with anyone at anytime about my Dad. 423-342-9316|
||Christy Hester Blair
|Mr. Jenkins was one of my favorite people in our
legal community and he will be greatly missed.|
||Brenda Moore, Erie Insurance Company
|I just wanted to send my condolences to Ron's family. I have worked with Ron through the years sporadically as I am in the Nashville area so I never had the pleasure of actually meeting him in person. However, we had a great verbal rapport and his abilities as an attorney on the files he defended for us exceeded our expectations. He was very respected not just professionally but personally and always had a sense of calm about him. He will be greatly missed by the Erie family and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. |
|I am so sorry for you loss. He was a good man as
you already know. It was a pleasure doing
business with him. I am a paralegal and work for
Francisco and Harr. I am so sorry to hear of this
again. I will be praying for you.|
||Eddie and Patsy Fish
|Very sad to hear of his passing. Ron was a good
friend in school and in his law practice. He will
live on in the hearts of all those who knew him.|
||Richie, Robin, & Seth Saults
|Ron was one of the finest people we have ever known. No doubt he has touched many lives with his kindness. Accept our sincerest condolences for your loss. |
|I was out of the country and just learned of Ron's passing. I
went to law school with Ron and have known him for almost
forty years. I didn't know a better person. He was a great
attorney, smart, always prepared, and a gentleman in court.
More importantly he was a good man, humble, and loved the
Lord. Our loss is heaven's gain. |
|My thoughts and prayers go out to
Ron's family. I have known Ron for
many years and have worked with him
in the legal field. He was a great
person, wonderful father, great
attorney and most of all a great
friend. I will always cherish the
talks we had and all the stories we
have shared. He was one of the
hardest working men i've ever
known, rest in peace Ron, no more
long days and nights of work or
3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. emails
trying to work things out on a case
he had......you will be greatly
|i am truly and deeply saddened by the passing
of a man i called a friend...i knew Ron as a
very special man who treated me as if i was the
best person on earth. he handled a divorce for
me, came to my wedding and anniversary. he and
i worked close together on civil cases and he
was always the protector and let me think i was
the best evaluator ever was. he was the best
especially as a friend. Ron was a mans man.
sawadee ka koon mak poochi ka c u soon
||James A.H. Bell
|I have known Mr. Jenkins for some time as a
lawyer. We recently completed litigation. He was a
ferocious advocate, but always a gentleman and
always within the bounds of the law. I really
enjoyed litigating against Mr. Jenkins, as he was
a good champion of justice and a great sport. I
would describe him as a true gentlemen in all due
respects. I am sorry he passed and we are saddened
by his death. The world indeed is a better place
because he lived. We offer our prayers for the
family for healing and comfort during this
difficult time. |