Paul F. Jenkins, 100, of Basking Ridge, NJ died on December 23, 2022, in Morristown, NJ. He was a WW II and Korean War veteran of the Air Force. A funeral service will be held at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Basking Ridge, NJ at 10:30 a.m. on January 21, 2022, with Rev. Msgr. Sylvester J. Cronin officiating. Burial will be held at a later date in Pennsylvania. Paul was born to Edward B. Jenkins and Emily Vollmers Jenkins in White Plains, NY.
Paul is survived by his loving wife, Wanda P. Jenkins, of 74 years and his children Diane Gilbert, Susan LaCourse (Richard), and his son Craig Jenkins. He is preceded in death by his son, Garland Jenkins (Ulla) and his brother, William E. Jenkins. He is survived by 12 grandchildren, Whitney Jenkins, Kelly Gilbert Cauley (Daniel), Brendan Gilbert, Brian Gilbert, Lauren LaCourse Niewiadomski (Chris), Monique LaCourse, Matthew Jenkins, Mark Jenkins, Dana Kuehler, Jimmy Engstrom (Chiara), Jerry Engstrom (Jennifer), Mikael Engstrom, and 9 great-grandchildren, Grace, Timothy, Donovan, Gabriella, Andrew, Sebastian, Annika, Kierstin, Konrad, as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Paul was honored to be an Eagle Scout and was proud to have been voted Mayor for the Day in White Plains by his fellow Boy Scouts. He graduated from White Plains High School, NY and received his B.A. degree in Economics from Allegheny College in 1947, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and met his bride, Wanda. In the middle of college, WWII broke out and he joined the Army Air Corps which later turned into the Air Force. He was trained as a fighter pilot and became a flight instructor. He flew everything from Stearman Biplanes to jets, but his favorite was the P-51. During the Korean War he became an Aircraft Engineering Officer for the 82 nd Fighter Squadron at Larson Air Force Base in Moses Lake, WA. After the Air Force, he joined the Wyoming Air National Guard and then the US Air Force Reserves. His economics degree led him to be involved in historic advances in technology. He worked on projects that involved the building of Bell X-1 aircraft that broke the sound barrier, the first nuclear reactor, the first nuclear submarine, missile defense systems, and the Apollo Support Team. This was followed by heavy involvement in the development of computer information systems. He continued his career at AT&T until he retired in 1994.
Paul cherished being with his family the most and continued his love of flying after discharge from the military. He had a great sense of humor and made his family and friends laugh from his jokes. His favorite movies were Top Gun, Top Gun: Maverick and Singin’ in the Rain.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Pluckemin Presbyterian Church Medical Equipment Ministry, https://ppch.org/give , or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, https://lls.org .