November 12, 1932 – August 17, 2017
Remembered as a man who brightened people’s days with his presence, a kind, generous spirit with a pithy sense of humor, he took pleasure in meeting people. It was his grin and sparkle that welcomed everyone.
Don married Elisabeth Sheltry of Burlington in 1960. During their almost 57 years of marriage they raised three sons; Donald (Maine, now Burlington), George (Richmond, VT) and Peter (Jackson, WY). He was pre-deceased by his mother, father and brother Ward. He is survived by his wife, sons and three grandsons; Christopher, Tyler and Parker, his brother Richard of Litchfield, NH as well as nieces and nephews. A long line of dogs accompanied Don through life, mostly labs and lab mixes. He took great delight in sharing the water with these dogs.
He taught his children, grandchildren, friends and others to play cards. Many evenings of Oh-Hell were enjoyed and cribbage was played regularly. He won often enough to be accused of unsavory play, but really, he was good and lucky.
Born in Lancaster, NH to Barbara Cushing and George Augustus Jenkins, Don grew up in Concord NH, graduated from the University of New Hampshire and served the US Army in post-war Germany. Subsequently he was hired by IBM to sell office equipment in the pre-computer age. He proudly sold Selectric typewriters, word processing systems, dictation equipment and copiers. Initially with the entire state of Vermont as a territory. As the product lines grew, his territory shrank and he focused in the greater Burlington area. A consistent producer for IBM, he was recognized half a dozen times one of the top 100 salesmen in the country. Locally, he was a member of the Ethan Allen Club where he socialized with the leaders of our community, played bridge, made life-long friends and had fun always.
Don’s success with IBM led to an equally long and successful retirement. After raising his family in South Burlington, Don and Liz moved to Bolton Valley, wintering on the mountain and skiing out the back door. Don ran the parking lot at the ski resort with a quick wit and a big smile. His summers were spent on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Eventually he and Liz were enticed to winter in the Teton mountains in Driggs, Idaho, skiing Grand Targhee an Jackson Hole Mountain resorts. Here he was nick-named “Good Times” by a friend of son, Pete. Don and Liz returned to Burlington in 2014.
After suffering a series of strokes more than 10 years ago, Don began a slow decline, continuing to ski and be active, but more recently, the dementia that took his life made his days very difficult. The family wishes to extend their thanks to the dedicated staff of UVM Medical Center Hospitalists and the caregivers of The Arbors in Shelburne.
Don has been cremated. A graveside interment will occur at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 11:30 AM. A remembrance will be held at 10:30 on Saturday, September 16th at Burlington’s Oak Ledge Park upper pavilion.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a charitable donation in Don’s name to your local animal shelter or youth sporting club/league. Family may be reached via email at Don_Liz@dkjenkins.com