A celebration of life for Kenneth Ray “Kenny” Jenkins, 74, will be held from 3:00 – 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at the Moose Lodge in Wheatland, Wyoming.
Kenny Jenkins passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at the Little Res, doing what he loved out on the boat.
Kenny was born on Monday, March 14, 1949 to Florence and Sidney Jenkins in Wheatland. He was the tenth and last child born to the couple and was definitely the baby of the family.
Kenny lived in Wheatland his entire life, living in various areas around town before eventually settling in at the family farm on Preuit Road in 1983. Kenny remained at the farm from 1983 until the time of his passing. He truly loved the farm; it was his happy place.
As a child he enjoyed baseball, hiking, fishing, learning to dance with his sisters and mechanics from his brothers. Kenny was a master mechanic and gained a lot of his skills while working at the Ford garage as a child. His love of farming also stemmed from his formative years on the family farm. A lot of his knowledge was gained in 1957 when his mom and dad went to Montana for work. During their absence, the children had free reign at the farm, with a little oversight from their grandma. Kenny garnered a lot of insight about how to run a farm from his older brother, Jerry whom he partnered with to farm in the 80’s.
Kenny always being an opportunist, embarked on a solo farm career shortly after high school. It was then that he married Kay Palmer and had three sons of the marriage. Mark, the oldest child, was followed by Brian, named after Brian Picolo, and finally Grant, named after Kenny’s good friend, Grant Call. As a family they enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, boating, water skiing, and even skiing off the roof of the house. Kenny was an avid supporter of his children during their 4H endeavors, mini tractor races, and raising of steers.
In 1983, Kenny expanded this workload and was hired on at Basin Electric Power Plant. Kenny worked there until his retirement in 2009. Due to Kenny’s incredible work ethic, he managed to work at the plant and still keep the farm running. In 1995, he married Patricia “Patti” Lockman and added two stepsons to his family, Travis and TJ.
Kenny was an avid sportsman. He could often be found hunting or fishing during his time off. Kenny had a favorite horse named, Bosler Pete. This horse served as his main hunting partner until Pete passed due to a lightning strike. Despite missing his favorite horse, Kenny was able to bag two prize elk during his hunting tenure, dubbed “Dusty” and “Reno”. Dusty even earned him a hunting record at the time due to his massive size.
True to his roots as an outdoorsman, Kenny ensured all his boys were taught the ways of the land. He taught his boys to shoot guns, play pool, gamble, fix cars and basic mechanical skills, and of course, farm and drive tractors. There was never anything that Kenny couldn’t fix. On top of that, Kenny was a fantastic cook, definitely the best in the family. He could often be found frying up the best walleye around or making the most delicious prime rib and gravy with all the fixings. He was truly a meat and potato cook extraordinaire.
Kenny had the “gift of gab” and never met a stranger. He loved telling stories. He had a story for every occasion. Of course, the accuracy of the stories was always up for interpretation, but it never really mattered, you wanted to listen anyway.
One of Kenny’s biggest loves was that of music. From dance lessons with his sisters to country songs as an adult, Kenny was a big fan. As anyone who has visited the farm can attest, Kenny had a 24-hour music festival going on the radio in his shop. The music was never shut off and continues to play now as a testament to Kenny. The song Baba O’Reilly by The Who particularly resonated with Kenny, with the following lyrics “out here in the fields, I farm for my meals, I get my back into my living.” That song would be Kenny’s ringtone on his phone for many years.
The love of Kenny’s life was his five children, eight grandchildren, and his four great grandchildren. He loved to brag about them, they made him extremely proud, all in their own individual way. He was always ready with a helping hand when they needed it.
A real passion of Kenny’s over the years was golf. Over the years on the course, Kenny would have the usual wayward shots, lost balls, and unbelievable putts, but he also was lucky to have made some life-long friends on the course. Those same friends would go on countless golf trips with Kenny and many have stories about his antics; he sure loved to make people laugh.
For those wanting to make a donation in Kenny’s memory, the family has chosen the Wyoming Down Syndrome Association for his memorial. This association was near and dear to Kenny owing to his granddaughter, Camy Hope, who was born with Down Syndrome in 2013. Camy had a special relationship with Grandpa Kenny and would often yell at Grandpa Kenny while he was sleeping and snoring, “Grandpa, wake up, you are (an)noying!” Camy also had a softer side with Grandpa Kenny and would give him big bear hugs to say goodnight during every sleepover she had at grandma and grandpa’s house.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, Florence and Sidney; sisters, Alma and Darlene; and brother, Bob.
Kenny is survived by his wife, Patti; children, Mark (Mikayla) Jenkins, Brian (Christine) Jenkins, Grant Jenkins, Travis Lockman, and Tyler (Ashley) Lockman; grandchildren, Sam, Matt, Josh, and Tyler Jenkins, Mackenzie, Camy, Beckett, and Blair Lockman; great grandchildren, Ayden, John Thomas, Elias and Kahlani Jenkins; and siblings Sid, Hugh, Phil, Jerry, Emma, and Chuck.
Kenny loved people and he had special bonds with all his children, his grandchildren and his dogs. And he sure did love his farm. He cherished his friendships with each and every one of you he met on this journey in life.
It’s not the years we spend on earth, but the love we share while we are here.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com.