Vada June Jenkins was born on June 3, 1926 to William Henry and Hattie (Leiber) Jenkins in the Valley Center community, St. Clair County, Missouri. She was the seventh of eight children.
She grew up in the Valley Center community, New Harmony, and then in the Pleasant Valley community in St. Clair and Henry counties.
In the times that Vada grew up, a young woman had the choice to marry or to have a career, you couldn’t do both, so she followed her heart and chose a career in nursing, one that she faithfully and lovingly carried out even after retiring.
She graduated from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, St. Joseph, MO in 1952, and received her BSN from Drury College in Springfield, MO in 1956.
She was a member of The Audubon Society and various other conservation organizations, as well as several nursing organizations.
She worked as a nurse in several hospitals, The Manor, where her father lived and lastly in the intensive care unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Monett, MO. She also spent time teaching nursing. She always loved working on the holidays; she said it was a special time to be on duty. She would remark that if she worked it gave someone with children a chance to be home with them during this special time of year.
After her retirement from nursing, Vada volunteered her time at Roaring River State Park, a place she grew to love after spending many hours bird watching. She built numerous wildflower beds and maintained them. Vada also loved her family dearly. She spent the first part of her young life caring for her nieces and nephew, making them feel very special. She spent many, many hours researching her family’s legacy and putting together many genealogy books, leaving behind much information for the future generations. She traced her mother’s family back to the Mayflower.
After going back and forth from Monett to Urich to help her sister Lora, she decided to make Urich her home. They spent much time together working on genealogy, gardening and traveling to Oklahoma to visit family. She passed on her love of family, flowers, gardens, birds and reptiles to her great nieces and great-great nephew and nieces. It wasn’t unusual to find her outside with the kids looking for crawdads after a rain, hunting for slugs, or wildflowers, or teaching them how to identify the birds by the sounds they made.
Vada was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Ellis, John, Dolsie, and David Jenkins; sisters, Lora Hilte, and Laphena Davis. She leaves behind one sister Geneva Nafiziger, California, and a host of nieces and nephews who love her dearly.
In Vada’s own words, “I am a Christian and I look forward to my new life in Eternity with my Lord, and with all the others that I have known and loved.” Indeed, she is now rejoicing with many family and friends.
The family will receive visitors at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 6, 2017, at Consalus Funeral Home. A Graveside service will be held at Englewood cemetery at 11:00 AM.
Memorial contributions may be made to Roaring River State Park and left in care of the funeral home.
“It is good to have a sense of belonging and to be aware of the continuity of family ties down through the generations. ‘Tis good to know from whence we came.”
Condolences may be left online at this website.