James Morton Jenkins
August 28, 2012
James Morton Jenkins, known as “Jim” to his friends, died on Tuesday, Aug. 21, after a long illness. He and his wife, Jane, moved to Aspen in 1970 and have happily lived there these last 42 years.
He is survived by four children: Susan Jenkins, William Jenkins, James Jenkins and Mauri Jenkins, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Jim was born in St. Louis, Mo. on Dec. 26, 1926. He graduated from John Burroughs School in 1944 and joined the Navy right after graduation. He was a radio operator on the USS Drew, a transport ship that served in the Okinawa operations that landed assault troops on April 16, 1945. Jim enrolled in the Engineering School of Washington University in St. Louis in the fall of 1946 and graduated in 1950 as a member of Tau Beta Pi. While in college, he was president of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In 1949, he married Jane Elizabeth John. His family was in the coal mining business in Herrin, Ill., where he worked until the mines were sold. He and his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was an executive for Reliance Electric Company. He moved on to St. Louis, Mo. as a vice-president for Emerson Electric Company. When he moved to Aspen, he became a developer of Sopris Village. He was also the owner’s representative in the renovation of the Hotel Jerome, which was completed in 1985. Since that time, he has developed commercial properties in Basalt, Colo. and Grand Junction, Colo. He was a life member of Elks Lodge No. 224. His passion was flying his Cessna SkyLane 182, which he flew until six months before his death. Many Aspenites will remember Jim playing the calliope for the Miner’s Building and the Historical Society in the July 4th parades. In his later years, he became very involved in the affairs of the Aspen Chapel. The family wishes that contributions be sent to the Aspen Chapel in his name. Jim loved Aspen in all its ways. May his spirit reside here forever.
A memorial for James Jenkins will take place Sunday, Sept. 2 at the Aspen Chapel at 4 p.m. A reception will follow the service.