Martin Glen Jenkins, 63, of Arizona City, Arizona, and formerly of Orem, Utah, passed away suddenly on October 26, 2019, at his home of an aortic dissection and cardiac tamponade.
Martin was born January 7, 1956, in Provo, Utah, to Glen L. and Jean R. Jenkins. He grew up in Orem, Utah, where he played Little League baseball and football. He attended Westmore Elementary School, Lincoln Junior High School, and graduated from Orem High School, where he was an excellent student as well as a championship debater. He was an enthusiastic and active member of the Boy Scouts of America, where he always went to Scout camp and through which he earned dozens of merit badges before earning his Eagle Scout Award at the age of thirteen. The friendships he made during his childhood and in the Scouting program have endured, and he often remarked about how lucky he was to grow up where he did among people he loved so much.
A talented golfer, Martin won a specialized scholarship and was given private golf lessons from pro golfer Johnny Miller. He loved the sport and was thrilled to settle into his home in Arizona on the edge of a golf course. He loved playing the sport as often as he could with his sons and his beloved Uncle Richard.
He worked a summer job at U.S. Steel’s Geneva Works, following a proud tradition established by his father.
He attended the University of Utah, where he was a respected member of the university’s debate team, and he remained a proud Ute throughout the rest of his life. He made many lifelong friends at the U, some of whom he visited with just a week before his death. During the summer following his junior year, he was hired as a part-time clerk at 7-11. He was rapidly promoted to full-time clerk, then store manager, then district manager, a job he held and loved for years.
His work at 7-11 launched his career in retail management. He later served as regional manager for Golden Corral and ended his career as a regional director for Flying J Travel Plazas, managing their plazas throughout the states of Utah and Arizona and from Albuquerque to Palm Springs. In all three of his career positions, he grew to love the people with whom he worked and has enjoyed lifelong associations with many of them.
Martin loved, a lot. He loved sports—as anyone nearby could attest when he tried to help the coaches and players with advice during football games. He was a diehard Pittsburg Steelers fan. He loved history, spent hours watching documentaries, devoured books on American history, and always kept up with political and current events. He always said that he might be the last person on earth to still get a regular newspaper, and he read it cover to cover every day.
Martin was an active member of the Democratic Party, a member of the ACLU and NAACP, and donated to charities supporting animal welfare and environmental protection. His character was such that when he saw that something needed help or needed fixing, he took steps to make things better.
Most of all, Martin loved his friends and his family. He had a rare generosity of spirit. When he considered you "his," his arms reached out to protect you and to offer help whenever needed. He was always so proud of his children, and he loved his wife more than words can express.
Martin is survived by his wife, Robin Alford Jenkins, Arizona City, Arizona; his children, Robert Martin Jenkins (Amanda) of Oviedo, Florida; Richard Dale Jenkins of Tucson, Arizona; Michael David Jenkins (Rebecca) of San Diego, California; and Elizabeth Anne Jenkins of Tucson, Arizona; and three grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Kathryn Jenkins, of Orem, Utah; his parents-in-law, George and Verna Loy Alford, of Longmont, Colorado; his sister-in-law, Judy Ruckman (Bret), of Boulder, Colorado; his brother-in-law, Chris (Mitra) Alford, of San Diego, California; and six nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Glen L. and Jean R. Jenkins, and two nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of his life at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, at Sundberg-Olpin & Wheeler Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem. A Visitation will be held for friends and family from 12:15-12:45 p.m. prior to the services at the mortuary. Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.
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