Cover photo for John Henry Jenkins's Obituary
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1926 John Henry 2023

John Henry Jenkins

September 14, 1926 — October 24, 2023



John Henry Jenkins of Groesbeck, Texas, 97, passed Tuesday, October 24, 2023.  He was born September 14, 1926 in Thornton, Texas, the son of Etta Belle (Herod) Jenkins and Henry K. Jenkins.

A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at the Cobb Cemetery Pavilion, with David Hughes officiating.

He is survived by his children, Paul Henry and wife (Mary) Jenkins, Carol Sue Jenkins, Kelley and husband (Kenneth) Copeland and Julie and husband (Josh) Nichols; grandchildren, Emma Samford, Avery Samford, John Rafe Samford and Paul Rieter Samford.

Upon the death of his father, months prior to his birth, his mother and 2 older sisters moved to the Corsicana area.  John and his 2 sisters stayed at the orphanage in Corsicana for several years until their mother married Ray Gorrell.  It was after their union, Etta Belle and Ray were able to unite as family and regain her children home once again.

John was a 1944 graduate from Mildred High School.  While attending high school, he began to work at the Corsicana Airport washing airplanes at night for $15.00 per week. Devoted to a job well done, he was transferred to the cranking crew, followed by the fuel truck, and then to the hanger, as a helper. In 1944, John was hired by the Third Air Force, Galveston, Texas. After one month, John resigned his position and volunteered for immediate induction in the Army. In March of the following year, John was aboard a troop ship going to Italy, assigned to the Tenth Mountain Division.  Later, he was assigned to the 303 Army Engineers and returned to the United States. He was transferred to Fort Bliss in El Paso, where he spent the remainder of his career working on the German B2.

John was honorably discharged on July 29,1946 and began attending Navarro Junior College as part of the original Barracks Bunch, graduating in 1948. He graduated from South Texas College of Law and was admitted to the Texas Bar in May 1951. John then entered the private practice of law, devoting his practice to Civil and Family law, in Houston, Tx, where he continued practicing law for 45 years.  After retiring from his law practice, he moved to Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas.

While practicing law through the years, John purchased land in the Lavender/Ben Hur area and began ranching in the early 1960’s.  Ranching was his true passion and would remain so through his retirement years. His sustaining care for his cattle and land was attributed to his love and appreciation of his family and heritage. John's wealth of knowledge for the land he purchased, grew from the land itself, which dates back to prior to the Civil War. This acknowledgement and respect, is an acclamation he verbally shared with family and friends.

In 2023, John was a recipient of the Navarro College Distinguished Alumni Award.

John sustained a fall on May 12, 2023.  Although testing revealed his body sustained no broken bones, he was unable to stand and walk.  Therefore, he was transferred to Mexia LTC for physical rehabilitation, with hopes of returning home.

John seemed to enjoy his stay at Mexia LTC the past several months. He made many friends and was treated like a king.  During his stay, he continued playing the “stock market” and ran his ranch by telephone. 

The family acknowledges a very heartfelt “thank you” to Mexia LTC for taking such good care of him and the special initiative taken to take him on a ride, to see his ranch; not knowing it would be his last visit.

John was preceded in death by his parents, three children (Jo Ann Jenkins, Sue Ann Jenkins and Cynthia Ann Jenkins,) sisters, Dorothye Roten and Zula Dee Mears, nieces Michelle Caraway and Debbie Salter and nephew John Gorrell.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to LARA’s House, P.O. Box 1568, Mexia, Texas  76667 in remembrance of John Henry Jenkins.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Henry Jenkins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, November 11, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Cobb Cemetery Pavilion

1233 LCR 778, Thornton, TX 76687

at Pavilion at Cobb Cemetery

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