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1936 Thelma 2016

Thelma Jenkins

February 2, 1936 — March 12, 2016

Kings Mountain, North Carolina

On the morning of March 12, 2016, Thelma Ratchford Jenkins passed away at the age of 80 due to complications related to C.O.P.D. In her passing days, she was surrounded by family while listening to her favorite music and with her favorite Duke ballgames playing in the background. Born on February 2, 1936, in Dallas, NC, Thelma resided in Kings Mountain for most of her life but came to know Morningside Assisted Living in Gastonia as her sunset home. During her time at Morningside, she played the piano for the All Saints Episcopal worship service, held there each Sunday.

Known as "Mrs. T. Jenkins" at Bessemer City Junior High School, she taught English, music, and directed the chorus from 1972 until her retirement in 1996. She also directed adult and youth choirs at various churches and gave private piano lessons in her home throughout her years. A graduate of Dallas High School, Thelma was in the first class of Albert G. Myers Scholarship recipients. She received her B.A. in Music with a minor in Language Arts from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where she was a member of the A Capella Choir. Thelma was a talented seamstress and a wonderful mother, not only to her four children, but to other children whom she, with her husband, Charlie, would foster with loving care.

Preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Laura Edo Froneberger Ratchford, of Dallas, Thelma is survived by her husband of 58 years, Charles L. Jenkins, Sr., of Gastonia, daughter, Laurie Jenkins of Sarasota, FL, son Charles L. Jenkins, Jr., of Henderson, NV, daughter Kevin and son-in-law Chet Pressley of Gastonia, and daughter Myra and son-in-law Gary Mignogna of Sewickley, PA. Thelma also leaves behind grand-children, Leslie Plonk of Cramerton, Kenji Jenkins of Yokosuka, Japan, Nathan Jenkins of Angeles City, Philippines, Erica and Adam Price of Everett, MA, Nicole and Nicolas Molnar of Trafford, PA, Morgan Pressley of Boone and Rachel Pressley of Boone and great-granddaughters Lilianna Molnar and Sailor Molnar, both of Trafford, PA. She is survived by her siblings Kenneth Ratchford of Gastonia, Ray Ratchford of Blythewood, SC, Carolyn Miller of Castaic, CA, and Helen Kahl Merriweather of Spartanburg, SC.

The family is thankful for all of the staff at Morningside Assisted Living who cared for Thelma during the last three years of her life and during the precious moments of the end of her life. The family is also thankful for the many Home Instead, Inc. caregivers who helped to watch over Thelma during her last days. In appreciation of the compassion shown by Hospice during their time of need, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts go to Gaston Hospice, P.O. Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054 or www.55953.thankyou4caring.org in order to sustain compassionate care for other families during their time of need.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1201 S. New Hope Road, Gastonia, NC with Reverend Dr. Gary Butterworth officiating. Family will receive friends one hour before the service at the church. After the service, family and friends will gather at the home of Kevin and Chet Pressley.

  • Memorial Service

    March 14, 2016
    3:00 PM

    All Saints Episcopal Church

    1201 South New Hope Rd.
    Gastonia, NC
  • Visitation

    March 14, 2016
    2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

    All Saints Episcopal Church

    1201 South New Hope Rd.
    Gastonia, NC
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