Freddie Jenkins, Jr., a kind-hearted, loving man full of charm and zest for life, was born in Jacksonville, Florida on December 31, 1943, to Mr. Freddie and Lois Jenkins, Sr. His parents preceded him in death, as did his Sister DeLois Jenkins Davis, and Brother Thomas Jenkins.
As a young boy he attended St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church with his family under Rev. R. L. Jenkins, and accepted Christ at an early age. He loved family Sunday dinners following service where he would enjoy his love of collard greens and cornbread. He received his early education in Jacksonville, Florida at SP Livingston Elementary and Matthew William Gilbert Junior & Senior High School class of ‘64, where he played basketball and football, being affectionately called ‘42’, his number on the football team. He later sought to further his education at Los Angeles City College in California with focus on business education, and later in life received a certificate for Medical Technician from Watterson College in California.
After high school he made his way west to California to begin his adult life, with brief stays in Miami and Chicago, where he fell in love with fun in the Los Angeles sun. Once settled he returned to Jacksonville, married his high school sweetheart Arvia C. Gillespie, and started their life in Los Angeles. To this union was born two daughters, Deanna & Antoinette (Tweety), who were his pride and joy. He loved his family dearly.
Freddie loved carpentry & working with his hands. Whether a rehab or new build project, he took great pride in the work & the satisfaction of customers for the finished product. In the early years of being in this profession, he worked at Paramount Studios as part of the crew building sets. Later he began working as an independent contractor under his brand “Construction Rehab” and did so for over 30 years.
With a charitable spirit and heart, he was an avid supporter of assisting the IBPO Elks of the World with community outreach efforts, and helping his sister with donations for homeless Veterans in downtown Los Angeles. He was a generous person who, no matter how much or how little he had, was willing to help others any way he could. Well known and loved in the neighborhood where he lived, he was viewed as the man of the neighborhood and looked upon like their ‘Uncle Fred’.
Although carpentry was the work he loved and made a living at, he was a man of many interests and talents, some artistic & creative in nature. Music was a huge one. Not just listening and dancing to it, which he loved to do, but playing live music. He was a skilled saxophone and flute player, and enjoyed blowing the tunes of music artists he liked, such as Grover Washington, Jr., Marvin Gaye, and Isaac Hayes. He created lasting memories for his daughters of watching him perform music recitals at Exposition Park and jam sessions at MacArthur Park. Music soothed his soul and was a big part of him. He also enjoyed drawing and creating unique artwork, and was quite the chess player.
Above all, Freddie loved spending time with his family, and friends who were like family. He made you laugh with his clever & sometimes corny comments. His infectious smile & deep hearty laugh brought joy to any occasion. He loved dancing with his unique style of getting down & would call himself the ‘Rhythm Baby’ in younger years. His pancake cornbread was a must at the annual Jenkins Family Day, along with playing cards (Tonk) and having a good ‘ole time. He was truly loved and will be missed.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021 he departed this life and went home to be with the Lord, where he is sure to be playing his sax and flute, dancing and jammin’ to the beat of his heart and reunited with loved ones.
Freddie is survived by his sister Diana Williams, Daughters Deanna Jenkins and Antoinette and son-in-law Leon Scott, grandchildren Kyeonna Mosley, Desiree Goree, Jalani Mosley, and Danielle Goree, great-grandchildren Tayonna, Te’Jon, Samariyah, Jordan, Delaney, and Nova, cousin Mable Hughes, nephew Maakheru’ Matthews, devoted friend Carolyn Martin, and a host of extended family and friends who loved and cared for him.
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