Ellis County SPCA staff, board members and supporters regret the passing away of dedicated volunteer Richard Jenkins on Sunday, January 30, 2011.
Jenkins was a 1988 graduate of Charleston High School of Boston, MA. Jenkins had come to call North Texas home after living in various parts of the country and describes his life on Facebook thus: “I’m an Air Force brat that was raised all over the country. We finally settled down here in North Texas. I’ve lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for about 20 years now.”
Jenkins lived in Midlothian and kept close to his mother after the death of his father. A caring son and kind-hearted person, Jenkins eventually found his place among the volunteers at the ECSPCA where he soon became a reliable volunteer who spent much of his time assisting shelter staff despite his failing health. In fact, in the weeks before his death, Jenkins continued to help at the shelter, attending meetings and offering his time wherever it was needed, as often as his life-threatening condition would allow. As he became more and more ill and was eventually hospitalized, he continued to plan for a recovery that would allow him more time to give in walking shelter dogs and socializing otherwise shy pets.
Soft-spoken, gentle, and approcahable, Jenkins was an agreeable man who easily attracted friends. Especially because of his disposition, he was gifted in handling dogs at the shelter who had grown withdrawn and afraid. Although he appreciated wishes to get well soon, he never disclosed the severity of his condition, thus his death was a sad surprise to his friends and associates.
In January of 2011, board members of the ECSPCA decided to honor Jenkins at an upcoming event as the first recipient of the Dr. Nancy Carter Volunteer of the Year award. Although Jenkins did not endure long enough to officially receive the distinction, he was notified by concerned shelter staff shortly before his death that he was to receive the honor.
All related to the ECPSCA have been affected by his sudden death and join his family in mourning the loss.