George Otis Jenkins III
February 21, 1933 – February 4, 2021
It is with great sorrow that the family of George (“Jay”) O. Jenkins announces his passing on February 4, 2021. Jay was born on February 21, 1933 in Brockton MA. The son of George O. Jenkins Jr and Marcia Godfrey Jenkins, formerly of Bridgewater and Pocasset MA, Jay spent his youthful summers on Cape Cod, a third-generation resident of Monument Beach, developing his love for the sea and sailing.
He attended Milton Academy, where he was a member of the varsity wrestling, track and cross-country teams. Although not one of the “superstar” athletes, Jay was someone on whom his teammates relied to keep his shoulder off the mat or push through an impending asthma attack to earn vital points for the team. Jay was recognized for his grit and strength of heart with the Alfred Elliott Award upon graduating from Milton in 1952.
As a student in the Class of ’56 at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT he continued running for the varsity track and cross-country teams, but it was his flourishing love of music that defined his years at Wes. He joined an a cappella octet and the Wesleyan Choir, which brought him to Mount Holyoke College for a concert tour. There he met and fell in love with Jennifer Margaret Muus (“Margot”) of Southern Rhodesia, Africa. A serenade months later from the octet sealed the deal, and Jay and Margot were married in December 1956 in her hometown of Selukwe. Soon, they welcomed three children to their family, Scott, Gail and Keith.
Employed as sales manager at the George O. Jenkins Company of Bridgewater MA, Jay traveled extensively throughout the nation and the world, selling products used in the shoe and auto industries and nurturing lasting relationships with colleagues and clients alike. His dedication to service in his community started as a leader of Boy Scout Troop 44 for eight years as a sponsor.
The family moved to St. Louis MO in 1965 where Jay was Jenkins Company’s Sales Coordinator for four years. During this time, he recruited and interviewed prospective students for Wesleyan University in the inner city and suburbs, as well as led a church youth group.
In 1969 the family returned to New England, living in Hingham MA for the next 21 years. There, Jay was an active leader in the Hingham Congregational Church and became a trustee of Brockton Hospital.
While president of the family business, the company was purchased in early-1970s by Freudenberg Company of Weinheim, Germany. Jay was asked to stay on with Freudenberg to help establish a new flooring division, and he continued to work for them for eleven years. In 1981 Jay joined Biltrite Company, starting a new flooring division there, and worked with Biltrite as vice president until his retirement in 1995.
Jay & Margot continued to fulfill their passion for travel and appetite for life-long learning until 2019. By sea they sailed with friends up and down the east coast, into Nova Scotia and around the Caribbean. By air their adventures were in Africa, Europe, South & Central America, Canada and around the US.
A year-round resident of Wings Neck in Pocasset MA since 1990, living in the home he grew up in, Jay has been an active community volunteer and leader. He was vice president of both Buzzards Yacht Club and Buzzards Sailing School for many years, served seven years as a trustee for Wings Neck Trust, and was a steadfast member of the Waterloggers, the Operations Committee and the Social Committee. Beyond the Neck, he served for fourteen years as president of the Bourne Society for Historic Preservation where his proudest accomplishment for the town was saving the Coady School for repurposing as senior housing. The Pocasset Village Association and the Bourne Historic Commission continued to occupy his time until he resigned from the Commission in January of this year.
Jay’s interests in sailing, model shipbuilding and clock repair were compromised by a stroke in June 2019, but he showed his lifelong grit during rehab and as he battled with one, then two forms of cancer in his last five years. His kindness, his appreciation for others, and his strength of heart and character were evident to the end.
Jay is survived by his wife of 64 years Margot, his children - Scott Jenkins and his partner Andi White of Port Charlotte FL, Gail Jenkins Farris and her husband Jay Farris of Atlanta GA, Keith Jenkins and his wife Marybeth Jenkins of Hanover MA - and four grandchildren – Kimberley Farris Buckley, Jennifer Farris, Dean Farris and Ellen Jenkins – as well as sister-in-law and her husband Diana Muus Duclos and Ken Duclos of Stowe VT, sister-in-law Shirley Muirhead Jenkins of Duxbury MA, nephew Peter Jenkins of Newport RI and niece Susan Jenkins Warren of Duxbury.
A small, private gathering will take place this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jay’s memory can be made to: Bourne Conservation Trust PO Box 203 Cataumet, MA 02534-0203 Donation Form: https://www.bourneconservationtrust.org/bct_donation.pdf
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
George Otis Jenkins III
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February 12, 2021
And now there are eleven...remaining, living members of the wonderful Eclectic delegation of 1956. All of us Octogenarians, most of us healthy enough and some with a few miles to go before we sleep. I remember Jay as a kind, decent, well-mannered, positive, cultured, thoughtful and respectful man. He did not suffer fools gladly, but accepted their hypocrisy behind a broad smile that belied the words he was thinking: “what does this guy mean?” He would never diminish another in order to enhance himself or look down upon another except to lift them up. He was self-deprecating in order to ensure there was no pomposity or disingenuousness or hint of entitlement. He was a good friend to all who passed his authenticity test, a loyal member of our delegation, and grateful for all that he was to become. We send our blessings to Margo and Gail at this time of celebration for the life of a genuinely good man, George “Jay” Jenkins.
Warm wishes to all that we may continue to floreat,
Alan and Loni Haas
February 11, 2021
Jay was a special individual loved by so many. His dedication, sense of humor and out-look on life inspired many of us who knew him. He was above all a friend and in many ways a mentor. I have many warm memories to cherish as I look back over the years of knowing him. His phone call just a couple of weeks ago asking if I had forgotten to send his Christmas present or was it misplaced is indicative of his humor as well as friendship. He will be missed.
February 10, 2021
Mr Jenkins was absolutely the best.I am so sad to here this news .From day one he treated me with respect and encouragement .I will truly miss you sir .I will never forget your smile and kind words.RIP Don't split to much firewood up there.
February 8, 2021
Condolences from the Buzzards Sailing School instructor classes of 2002-2006. Jay was a stalwart pillar of the Buzzards, maintaining the widgeon fleet (particularly the leaking centerboard gaskets; always the centerboard gaskets!) weekly, with a big smile and a bight "hello guy!" whenever he caught your eye. He left a big impression on all of us adolescents in our first jobs. We cherish our time with Jay and the memories of all his wonderful idiosyncrasies.
February 7, 2021
May the Lord Bless Jay Jenkins and his family. Starting in 1944, I learned to sail from Jay in his 1939 #10 Biglelow Kitten, SOLYMAR, at the Wenamet Bluffs Yacht Club in Pocasset. Jay was the Commodore for two years and so instrumental in the Wednesday afternoon junior sailing races and the Junior series on Saturdays. His green hull with yellow sail Kitten was always in a leadership position in the Sunday Senior series. Our friendship continued through our Barlows Boatyard days as Jay sailed his red sloop. Jay was a proud past owner of Nat G. Herreshoffs's Quiet Tune. I and my youngest son, Scott, who supports and sails in the Buzzards Sailing School and the Buzzards Yacht Club were blessed to know Jay Jenkins.