Maj. Gen. Donald M. Jenkins, USAF, 92, passed away December 14, 2020. Donald was born in Akron, Ohio to Alberta M. and Esta M. Jenkins. He graduated from Kenmore High School, and received a B.A. from The University of Akron at the age of 20 as an ROTC distinguished military graduate. In 1949, he accepted a regular commission and entered active duty in the Air Force, serving two combat tours of duty in Korea with the 307Th Bombardment Wing. Returning to the United States in 1952, he spent the remainder of his active career flying classified reconnaissance missions from various overseas locations until accepting a commission in the Air Force Reserve in 1958. In 1976, Donald took command of the 302nd Tactical Airlift Wing at Rickenbacker AFB. In 1982, he became Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Air Force Reserve at Air Force Headquarters, and was promoted to Major General.
His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal (2 oak leaf clusters), Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon, Combat Readiness Medal, and the Korean Service Medal.
In his civilian capacity, Donald was awarded a Juris Doctorate degree from The University of Akron in 1964, and earned a Master of Laws degree from Western Reserve University in 1970, while simultaneously serving in the Air Force Reserve. A life-long supporter of The University of Akron, Donald served as Professor and Dean of The University of Akron School of Law, where he oversaw a $3.5 million expansion in 1988. He also served as a Professor in the College of Business Administration. He graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School of Business, and served on the faculty of the Bank Administration Institute at The University of Wisconsin. He also served as a Trustee for Bath township for many years, spearheading both the Joint Economic Development District effort and the creation of the Bath Nature Preserve. He was a Tennessee Squire and a Kentucky Colonel who enjoyed golf, handball, softball, and spending time with his family.
Donald is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Elizabeth (née Merle), his daughter Mary Kathleen Finn (Terry) and their children Tyler, Katherine, Jennifer, and Grace; his son Donald (Kathy) and their children Zackary and Riley; and his son Thomas (Sherri) and their children Alexander and Maxwell. The family wishes to acknowledge the staff and nurses at Greenfield Estates, Copley, for their tremendous care and concern.
“Country above self, contribution above consumption, stewardship over exploitation, freedom with responsibility.”
Due to Covid-19, there will be no calling hours or services. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to The Bath Township Fire Department Foundation or The Bath Community Fund.
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