Wanda Jenkins

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, June 29, 2024
Presbyterian Church Of Basking Ridge
1 East Oak Street
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Wanda Jenkins

Wanda P. Jenkins, 97, of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, died on Thursday, January 11, 2024, in Basking Ridge, NJ.


Wanda was born to Dr. Clyde F. Peairs and Ardafay Kelly Peairs in Sutersville, PA.  She graduated from West Newton High School in West Newton, PA.  She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology in 1947 from Allegheny College, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity, Delta Chapter and where she met her husband, Paul.  Wanda advanced her studies further with a Master’s of Science degree in Bacteriology from the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. 


Wanda was an exceptional student.  She graduated early from high school and received full scholarships to both universities.  Wanda always had a quest for knowledge.  As a child she could be found reading a book and most frequently it was the encyclopedia.  Her favorite show was Jeopardy and if she had the courage to go on the show, she would have been a very tough competitor for Ken Jennings.


Following graduation, she married her husband, Paul.  They moved to Albany where she was employed as a microbiologist. Despite her ongoing quest for knowledge, she became a full-time mom.  She said, “The best thing I ever did was to have my children.”   After her children were grown, she worked for AT&T and retired in 1993.


Her family knew her as an optimist.  Life never got her down and she always found a positive light to move forward under any circumstance.  Wanda was very involved with her community.   She was President of League of Women Voters, a girl scout leader, a cub scout leader, Toastmasters, a member of Oak Tree Quilters and a Stephen Minister.  Her favorite pastimes included sewing, quilting, cooking and baking, traveling (especially Scotland), playing cards and cross word puzzles.  She was known for her pot roast, shortbread hearts, butter balls, pies and rolls.


Wanda is survived by her children, Diane Gilbert, Susan LaCourse (Richard) and Craig Jenkins. 


She was predeceased by her loving husband of 74 years, Paul, and her son, Garland Jenkins (Ulla). She also leaves 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) and Mikael Engstrom (Hilary); 11 great grandchildren, Grace, Timothy, Donovan, Coty, Gabriella, Andrew, Sebastian, Annika, Kierstin, Konrad and Mia.


A funeral service will be held at 11:00, on Saturday, June 29, at Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, 1 E. Oak St, in Basking Ridge, NJ, with Dr. Maureen Patterson officiating.  Burial will be held at a later date in Pennsylvania.


For further information or to leave a condolence message, please visit www.gcfunerallhome.com.


 In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, https://brpc.org/donations-payments/ or to the Pluckemin Presbyterian Church Medical Equipment Ministry, https://ppch.org/give.

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