Obituary: Kathleen Ennis Jenkins
Kathleen Ennis Jenkins, of Newport, RI, died peacefully of natural causes, on November 18th, 2015. She was 86 years old. Mrs. Jenkins was born in Manila, the Philippines, on August 13, 1929, where her parents, then Lt. William P. Ennis Jr. USMA, 1926, and Frances Dwyer Ennis were stationed for an overseas tour with the US Army. Called "Fun" by her Filipino nanny, she kept that nickname throughout her life. She enjoyed the life of an "Army brat," living with her parents at West Point, NY, Fort Bliss, TX, Fort Bragg, NC, and Washington, DC.
During World War II, with her father deployed as a field artilleryman to North Africa and Italy, she, her mother, and her younger sister, Patricia Ennis Leggett, returned to their Newport, Rhode Island ancestral home where her family had lived for generations. Her great-great grandfather, William Ennis, served on General Washington’s staff during the American Revolution, and was later a banker in town. Her great-grandfather, Brigadier General William Ennis, USMA 1864, lived on Kay Street, but for eight years, was stationed at Fort Adams, raising the future Brigadier General William P. Ennis, USMA 1901, who was Fun’s grandfather. Fun’s grandparents on her mother's side were, Colonel Thomas F. Dwyer, USMA, 1895 and his wife, Ethel M. Kline, who lived on Rhode Island Ave. Other Newport ancestors included the Rathbones, the Halls, the Gibbs and the Whitehornes.
Fun attended both Miss Collins's School and St. Michael's School of Newport before graduating from Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT in 1946. She then went on to college, graduating from Duke University in 1951 majoring in History. Upon graduation, she subsequently worked as a Russian translator for the Central Intelligence Agency before meeting her future husband, LT. Theodore Locke Jenkins USA, of Princeton, NJ.
Fun met Ted on her visit to Berlin, Germany, where Ted was stationed, while he was still in the service. They got to know each other, sailing “six meters” on Wannsee Lake, which kindled a life long love for each other, and love of being together on the water. They were later married and lived in Washington, DC, before moving to Connecticut, where they became long-time residents of Darien and avid sailors, as members of Noroton Yacht Club. They built a wonderful life, raising four children and when not summering at Noroton, they spent time cruising and vacationing in Newport, Martha’s Vineyard and various destinations throughout New England. Fun was an avid reader, a gardener, and a student of ornithology. She loved to sail, play tennis, go for walks, and she skied with her family and grandchildren until she was 80.
Her husband predeceased her in 1988, and after the death of her parents, Fun moved back to Newport. She was a member of the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Spouting Rock Beach Association, the Newport Garden Club, the Colonial Dames and she maintained the family’s shareholding in the Redwood Library. She loved working in the gardens at Whitehall Museum House in Middletown, and serving on the Ida Lewis Race Committee on Wednesday nights during the summer.
Fun is survived by her two sisters, Patricia Ennis Leggett, of Carlisle, PA and Frances Ennis Irvine McLaren, of New Haven, CT, her four children; Kathleen Jenkins Ennen, her husband Thom, of Washington, DC, Leila Cassel Sinclair of Sydney, NSW, Australia, William Ennis Jenkins and his wife Patricia, of Annapolis, MD and Theodore L. Jenkins, Jr., and his wife Diane, of New Canaan, CT, and seven grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service at Trinity Episcopal Church, 141 Spring St, Newport RI on Monday, December 21st, 2015 at 2PM. Kathleen E. Jenkins will be interred next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring.
Flowers for the memorial service are welcome and/or memorial contributions may be made in Kathleen E. Jenkins memory, to the Friends of Whitehall, N.S.C.D.A., R.I., P.O. Box 4144, Middletown, Rhode Island, 02842.
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