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OBIT: Ronald L. Jenkins

This news story was published on March 22, 2021.
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Ronald L. Jenkins died on March 19, 2021 in Mason City, IA after a long and brave battle with malignant melanoma. He was born on August 16, 1940 to Edward and Velma Jenkins in What Cheer, IA. Ron and his five siblings grew up in Eddyville, IA. In 1958, Ron received a football scholarship to attend William Penn College. He graduated college in 1962 and was accepted as a graduate assistant in the biology department at the University of South Dakota where he received his master’s degree. He married the love of his life Linda Kay Waters on November 24, 1962. In 1963, they moved to West Liberty, IA, where Ron taught high school biology and coached football and track.

Ron received a grant from the National Science Foundation to continue his graduate work at Texas A&M University. In 1967, he accepted the position of “Head of the Biology Department” at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, IA. Ron taught microbiology for 35 years, finally retiring in 2002. One of his fondest memories was all the interactions he had with the students involved in the nursing program.

Ron’s favorite hobby was to repair and refinish antique furniture. He rebuilt and refinished countless numbers of beautiful pieces for the next 20 years. Ron enjoyed shooting the breeze with friends over a hot cup of coffee. He cherished time spent with friends and family, especially when done outdoors on nice spring days.

Ron found great joy in traveling to warm places during winter months and always looked forward to his visits to the East coast where his children and grandchildren lived.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers. Those left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife Linda of 58 years, his children Brian Jenkins (Jodi) from Hanover, PA, Angela Janik (Rick) of Holly Springs, NC, and grandchildren Lauren and Grant. He is also survived by his brother Tom and sister Sandra, and Ward Isaacson (Kathy and family) who was loved like a son.

Should friends desire, memorials may be left in Ron’s honor to North Iowa Area Community College or MercyOne North Iowa Hospice.

A memorial service for Ron is scheduled for May 15th. The time of this celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

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