Graveside services will be held Friday for Lenton “Snookie” Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins died on December 11, 2020. He was 91 years old.
Services will be held at the Northeast Louisiana Veteran’s cemetery in Rayville at 10 a.m. Friday. Visitation will be held Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at McFarland Funeral Home on Berg Jones Lane.
His official obituary reads as follows:
The life, legacy, and laughter of Lenton George Jenkins began on September 10, 1929, and the transition of his mortal life ended on December 11, 2020, at the age of 91. Lenton, representing a quiet, but strong, storm was born to James and China Bradford Jenkins in Rayville, Louisiana. His life story was of humble beginnings as he was reared into a life of cultivating and planting–from farming to building, many layers would unfold.
Lenton attended Galilee Church School and Rhymes School, Richland, Parish, Louisiana, comprised of residents of in the Start, Clearlake, and Alto communities. As changes became apparent, he would also need to make some changes as adulthood was coming far quicker than he had anticipated.
During his lifetime, he ventured into many occupations: mechanic, tailor, carpenter, and gardener. He worked as a farmhand at C. W. Earls Farm, which he knew would be temporary. He would become part-owner of a shoe shop and a convenience store in Monroe, LA. He worked for Jessie F. Heard Construction for many years before starting his own concrete finishing business. Though his time on the farm was brief, his knowledge would be realized in a beautiful garden annually. He perfected his gardening skills and blessed the community with a variety of greens, vegetables, and juicy plums. Friends and family enjoyed the bountiful overflow of his favorite pastime, hunting, and fishing. Sharing was never a problem as he always invited others to join him in a Saturday evening fish fry or cooking of wild game. He would be sure that there was plenty to serve everyone.
The choice to become a member of the U.S. Army began a new chapter in his life. An unknown fact is that he joined the military sooner than allowed so that he could serve his country in a time that was very uncommon for men of color. He served as a Corporal CPL(T) in the 5th Armored Division Artillery, Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, Battery 780th Field Artillery Battalion, as an 1844 Cannoneer. During his service, he fought in the Korean War (1950-1952), and was awarded the Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars (KSM w/2 BSS) and the United Nations Service Medal (UNSM).
He shared stories of how, when he was down in the fox hole, he knew his death was certain. He heard God speak to him and told him he must live to complete his works. Only the voice of God gave him the strength to overcome the loud sounds of the roaring canons and the loss of life all around. He told of how the operation of the guns was so forceful that the buttons on his jacket would pop off; so much so they had to be fitted in overalls to limit this problem.
His relationship with God became evident from his early years in membership at the Orange Hill and Galilee of Start Baptist Churches. He continued his relationship as a member and faithful deacon of the New Galilee Baptist Church. He served as a committed deacon until his departure from this life. One of his favorite Doctor Watts was “I know I am a Child of God.” Singing was an important part of his life as he was a member of The Pilgrim Jubilees. Their friendship, acts of love, and kindness by the remaining members would last a lifetime.
On October 2, 1953, he married the love of his life Margie Smart. Even through their separation, they remained devoted to each other. To this union, eleven children were conceived, five children cherish his memories; namely, BRENDA JENKINS WADE (LARRY); LINDA JENKINS TURNER (JOHNNY); CEDRIC RAY JENKINS, Ft. Worth, Texas; REV. VIVIAN JENKINS BENTON (LASHAY); AND DARRON DEWAYNE JENKINS (COURTNEY). He is also survived by one sister, CREMO JENKINS REED (CLAUDE); a devoted nephew, JAMES (Manny) WESLEY JENKINS, and special great nephew, FREDERICK SMART (Shontae); thirteen (13) grandchildren; four (4) great-grands, a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and family. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, and six (6) siblings; Helen, Eunice, Leroy, Robert, Semo and T.L.
He will be remembered for his quiet, but strong countenance and self-made attributes that contributed to many in his lifetime. His soft-spoken voice was low and sometimes only understood when a burst of laughter followed. “Patient in Power” is how he is described by those who called him, “Daddy Jenkins”, “Father-in-Law”, “Mr. Lennon”, “Uncle Snookie”, “Unc”, “Granddaddy”, “Honey, “Daddy”. A community father who helped mold the lives of neighborhood children in ways that are reflective as a disciple, solid companion, friend, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, son, and loving father. His children reflect the many talents he was bestowed. His “gray tape” philosophy is demonstrated in the spiritual upbringing of his offspring signifying that there is nothing too hard for God, and with that application of God’s Word all things can be fixed. Lenton George “Snookie” Jenkins’s works are following him to complete what God started in him so long ago. Remembered – Loved – Honored and Missed.