Obituaries » Edna M Jenkins
November 15, 1931 – October 3, 2021
Owens Funeral Svcs; Chapel
104 Green Chimney
Ashland, Va 23005
Wednesday 2 to 7pm
October 6, 2021
First Baptist Church
800 Thompson Street,
Ashland, Va 23005
October 7, 2021
Edna Maude Mitchell Jenkins 89, daughter of the late Edgar “Ed” and Eugenia “Eugie” Mitchell was born in Hanover County, VA on November 15 1931. She departed this life October 3, 2021 at the home of her eldest son in Montpelier, VA. Edna was born, raised and resided on the family homestead which was part of a plantation, acquired by her grandfather circa 1871. She was the 49th of the 50 grandchildren of Thomas & Martha Mitchell and the last to survive. We mourn the end of a long and historic generation. As a child, unlike her sisters who worked in the kitchen with their mother, she preferred to work in the fields with her father. From early on, she developed a work ethic that was second to none.
On August 11, 1943 Edna accepted Christ as her personal savior. She was baptized and became a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Montpelier, VA. She was a faithful member and served her church in many capacities. In 1949, Edna was one the original eight women to become an usher under the leadership of the late William James. She served continually for 69 years until her health no longer allowed her to serve and retired on the 88th Anniversary of the Ushers, September 16, 2018. While an usher, she served in many capacities to include President for eight years. She served as a member of the Hospitality Ministry and was chair of that Ministry for twelve years when she relinquished that position. Edna ran that kitchen with upmost discipline and would let you know if things weren’t right. Her philosophy was if you don’t do it right, don’t do it at all. She made sure there was plenty of food and not to skimp on the portions. She also was a member of the Gospel Chorus and The Sanctuary Choir until her voice no longer allowed her to sing. She served as Treasurer of the Sanctuary Choir for a period. Edna was indeed a dedicated member and a true soldier. She gave her tithes plus some to the Lord and made sure they continued throughout her illness. She made sure she would be at all church meetings and didn’t mind expressing her opinions. She also loved having her pastors up for Sunday dinner after church and often reminisced about the times they shared.
Edna attended Hanover County Public Schools and was one of the 32 members of the first graduating class of John M. Gandy High School in 1950. In her class Year Book, she was listed as wanting to be a business woman. Although she did not formally further her education, you could said she was a self-taught accountant. Edna served as treasurer of various clubs and organizations and was the bookkeeper for all financial matters involving her parent estate. Rest assured, she was going to have all items documented and balanced down to the penny. She had a true sense of finances and could stretch a dollar longer than anyone could imagine. She worked most of her career in the laundry industry. For many years she was employed by the Ashland Laundry & Dry Cleaners. For a short period she worked for Ted Lansing Supply Company before retiring from National Linen in 1994.
Edna was a member of the Montpelier Women’s Club where she loved to host club meetings, bringing out her finest china and stemware for a full course meal after the meeting. She also was a member The Capital Area Agency on Aging (Senior Connections). She enjoyed socializing with the ladies at the Montpelier Friendship Café and looked forward the weekly gathering. Edna was a charter member of the Hanover Community Center and served on the membership committee for many years. She also enjoyed traveling and to some extent she could be considered adventurous. In the 1960’s she, Viola Duncan, her sister Lillie and another friend decided to drive cross country all the way from Montpelier, VA to Los Angeles CA, taking the southern route going and the northern route on the return trip. They even went over into Tijuana, Mexico on the trip; quite an adventure for four black women during that era. She also enjoyed taking family vacations with her son Roddy, where they traveled to many places to include Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Cruises to several Caribbean Islands. After returning from a trip to Spain, France and Italy, she said “well I never thought I would ever get overseas”.
Edna was a devoted daughter, mother, granny and aunt. Again, when things weren’t right, she would let you know, but her love was evident through her actions. She would help you in any way she could and you knew she was always there for you. She never forgot a birthday or an anniversary and made sure her parents, grandparents, siblings, deceased nieces, and other special family members always had flowers on their graves. A true Matriarch has passed on. We will truly miss her.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her sisters, Berthenia Giles, Lillie Clarke and Alice Mitchell as well as her brothers, Thomas “Ralph”, Ernest and Andrew “Tennie” Mitchell. She leaves to reminisce and cherish fond memories, two devoted sons and their wives, Roddy G. and Jeanette Mitchell (her primary caregivers) and Byron and Terry Jenkins; four grandchildren, Amber & Jason Mitchell and Byron Jr. & Jamill Jenkins.; 5 nieces, Joyce Hill, Mary Anderson, Mario Mitchell, Ann Jefferson & Drusilla Mitchell; 3 nephews; T. Allen Giles, Leon Clarke & Kelvin Mitchell; multi-generations of other nieces and nephews; two special cousins, Nancy Winston and Mamie Johnson and a host of other beloved relatives and friends.