Passed Away On: 2018-03-08 00:00:00
Cecil Earl (Russ) Jenkins was born in Okemah, Oklahoma on September 21, 1925 to Edward Jenkins and Caria Mills Jenkins. He passed away at Saint Louise Hospital in Gilroy on March 8. He was married to Leila Joan (Lee) Busby Jenkins for 57 years. He was married to Arlene Bestul Jenkins for eight years.
He was the eldest of four siblings: Christine Johnson of Washington, Martha Duplichan of California, and Edward Jenkins of California (deceased).
He was father to Tracy Wood of Hollister, California and Wayne Jenkins (deceased). He was father to David Fisk of Lincoln, California. He was grandfather to Jared Wood of Hollister, California, Jeanette Wood of Gilroy, California, Holly Fisk of Los Angeles, California, Jamie Boyda of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Natalie Quli of Castro Valley California, and Tracy Rose of Washington.
He was great-grandfather to Syed and Lela Quli, of Castro Valley, California, Gavin and Gabriel Rose, and Isaiah Valentine of Washington.
Russ came with his family to California from the dust bowl in Oklahoma, settling first in Chowchilla, and other towns in the San Joaquin Valley. At fifteen he went to Oakland and lived with his aunt and uncle, Red and Goldie Jenkins, and took a job welding at Mare Island naval shipyard. As soon as he was old enough, he joined the US Navy.
The navy was a big part of his life. He was there “for nineteen and six,” nearly twenty years. He started at the very bottom, of course. No high school diploma, he had to get his GED, and then later attend college classes though the military and via correspondence. He was a big believer in schooling, even though his was pretty sparse starting out. He attended all the navy schools he could, and did at least one stint as an instructor at flight school.