James Grover Jenkins, 1949-2022

Born on June 15, 1949, James “Jim” Grover Jenkins was graced with eternal life on Friday, July 1, 2022. Originally from Glade Springs, Virginia, Jim most recently lived in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education in 1976, he continued his studies at VCU and received his Masters in Education in 1979.

Jim was a counselor and teacher at For Love of Children Wilderness School in Harpers Ferry. His life-long love of nature and the outdoors drove him to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He was known for his passion for teaching, greatly benefited at-risk boys from Washington, D.C. , who had been court-ordered to live and learn for a short time in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Jim later worked as a public school science teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, and in Jefferson County, West Virginia. He won Teacher of the Year awards in both counties. In 1994, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Jim was also a Teacher at Sea in Alaska’s Bering Strait, a Fulbright Exchange Teacher and a Master Naturalist.

Jim retired from teaching after 44 years and pursued other interests. He remained passionate about nature, wildlife and the outdoors. He was elected to the Town Council in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in June of 2021. When asked why he was running, Jim said he had lived in the area since 1979 and had “fallen in love” with the town. He was committed to continuing the progressive work of the present council.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Jim also became a tour guide at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, D.C., where he cared deeply about both the veterans whose names were on the wall and also those who had survived. He once sponsored a fund-raiser for an elderly homeless veteran in a wheelchair whom he had met at the memorial and who had little money to support himself. Jim’s heart had no borders.

In June of 2022, Jim participated in Memory Observance at the Vietnam Memorial. All names of the deceased were read by a family member, who also made a short statement about the veteran. Jim stood in for someone whose family couldn’t be there. He was profoundly moved by the event, and on his Facebook page, he wrote his reflections, which included:

“We do not have unlimited time to share love and make our earth better. Today is a good day to pursue that passion, do something creative, savor a precious moment, do something nice for no reason, or simply to be deeply grateful.”

Jim is survived by his father, Grover Cleveland Jenkins of Colonial Heights, Virginia, his son, Samuel Strother Jenkins of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, sisters, Rebecca Jenkins Ogburn of Colonial Heights, Virginia, and Sarah Jenkins Brunello of Merritt Island, Florida, and his beloved life partner, Candace Kain Hayes of Purcellville, Virginia. He was pre-deceased by his mother, Mary Perdue Jenkins, and his brother, Paul Jenkins.

Jim’s service will be held on Wednesday, July 6th, at 11 a.m. in the outdoor chapel at Cool Spring National Cemetery at Holy Cross Abbey, 901 Cool Spring Lane, Berryville, VA, 22611, with the burial immediately following. The officiant will be the Rev. Dr. Chad Martin, Pastor of St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg, VA, where Jim was a member.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to any of the following: The Wounded Warrior Project
P.O. Box 758516
Topeka, Kansas 66675

or online at: woundedwarriorproject.org

The Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund 1235 South Clark Street Suite 910
Arlington, VA 22202

Rescue Me Dog Rescue
59 East Road
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25404

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