George Martin Jenkins
Nov. 14, 1953–April 27, 2012
George Martin Jenkins died April 27, 2012 in the home he loved with his loving sister at his side. He was preceded in death by his wife and love of his life, Carol Jenkins.
George was born Nov. 14, 1953 in Columbus, Ohio. There he married his life’s love, Carol Sue Hague, on July 30, 1977. They later moved to Winterset, Iowa, to take over George’s grandfather‘s weekend farm, where their love for each other and for nature and animals continued to grow. In the late 80’s, they moved to Grand Ronde, Ore., where they added a love of Oregon country and Oregon people. Eventually, they bought and reforested 40 acres in Willamina, where they have lived ever since—continuing to grow in love, working on their place, watching meteor showers, enjoying nature, and romping with their big dogs.
George should have been a mountain man living 100 years ago. He was fiercely independent, proud, loyal, resourceful, tough, hardworking, in-tune with nature, and, as most mountain men, somewhat solitary, not easily social, and slightly suspicious of government meddling. George was a hero, who saved at least two lives during his lifetime. George could always be depended upon to help, and where others might shy away, he always rose to the task. He gave everything the good fight, even in the face of death. George was also tender-hearted. His tenderness showed in how he loved Carol so sweetly and in how he loved his pets. Being a mountain man at heart, George loved his dogs big—Great Pyrenees, Shepherd mixes, and Newfoundlands—however, he had a soft spot in his heart for his little cockatiel, Cherry, too.
George was a John Deere repair technician at Fisher Implement. He was known as one of the best combine technicians around. He was proud that farmers asked for him by name and that John Deere experts even sometimes consulted him. He was proud of his ability to figure things out and get a combine running “better than new,” as he would say. He loved working with the other, younger technicians at Fisher, who affectionately teased him and called him “Grandpa” or “Dad.”
He also loved working with all the farmers, with whom he had a special affinity because, in Iowa, he had loved raising soybeans, corn, cows, sheep, and geese on his Iowa farm. But when he left the flat prairie of Iowa and moved to Oregon, he came into his own inner “mountain man,” loving the trees and the coastal foothills. He reveled in reforesting the 40 acres he and Carol bought here and in watching it grow. He and Carol made walking paths through their property and enjoyed walking those paths everyday with their beloved dogs.
George was very proud of his property and his work at Fisher, but he was most proud of his having won and having kept the love of his wife of more than 34 years, Carol Sue. They were deeply in love, and no matter the difficulties and heartbreaks they faced, their love was enough to make them happy and make their Willamina home a paradise.
George was too young at age 58 to be claimed by liver damage caused by hematomacrosis. He fought the good fight and outlived his wife, so that she would not have to face the world without him there to love and care for her. His beloved Carol preceded him in death this past January, but now they are together.
There will be a life party and refreshments to honor and remember George at 2 p.m. on May 26 at the Crossroads Worship Center, 330 S. Main St., Willamina, OR 97396. The Remembrance Service is from 2 to 3 p.m., and refreshments begin at 3. Please come.