Steve Jenkins

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins, the only child of Earl and Glenna Jenkins, was born on July 28, 1954, in the San Fernando Valley, California. At that time it was still a rural area with dirt streets, horse ranches, orchards and open areas where he could ride his dirt bike. Steve grew to love the outdoors, especially camping and hiking in the mountains.

As he grew, he was inspired by popular TV shows like Dragnet and Adam-12 to pursue a career in law enforcement. His goal was to, “Help people and take bad guys to jail.” At age 18, Steve joined the Law Enforcement Explorer Program to get first-hand experience and learn the basics of his future career. It was also where he met Jan who, several years later, would become his wife.

In 1976, Steve graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy and began working in the jails. After a few years of “controlled exposure,” he was transferred to Lynwood Station. This was a demanding assignment in a dangerous, high-crime area bordering the City of Los Angeles.

As a dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department, Jan and Steve would occasionally cross paths and he would notice when she was on the radio. On May 23, 1980, they chanced upon each other and in February 1981, they got married.

In September 1982, Steve was selected for a resident deputy position in the tiny hamlet of Gorman, California. Taking Jan, and their 5-month-old son Michael, they moved into the resident deputy housing. Steve was also assigned a K-9 partner, Orek, for the remote areas he patrolled. While stationed at Gorman a daughter, Kellie, was born.

After two years, Steve transferred to Santa Claria Station where he was actively involved in raising his children and picked up new hobbies. He earned his pilot’s license, purchased a Cessna 182, and became a pilot for the California Civil Air Patrol. Steve’s work as a Deputy Sheriff had a wide and varying range. While he normally patrolled in the standard Sheriff’s car, he also had unique opportunities to work in helicopters, on dirt bikes, bicycles, boats, and on horseback.

Steve cared deeply for the community and the people. He supervised the Mountain Rescue Team and the Posse. He learned Spanish so he could communicate with the Hispanic population. He (secretly) gave any remaining toys from the Sheriff Station’s yearly Christmas toy collection to the inmates of a detention camp because “every man should have a gift for his child on Christmas.”

In 2005 he retired after 30 years. He and Jan moved to Dillon, and they quickly found it to be the best place on Earth. Steve would hike, ski, fish and take in nature’s beauty. He even got to fulfill a long held wish of being a Forest Ranger. He was devoted to the “Y,” serving on the Board for several years. When asked about his day, the answer was unfailingly, “Another day in paradise.” And he meant it.

Steve was an honest person. A man of integrity and great faith. We will miss him more than we can express. He fought long and hard against pancreatic cancer, surviving 19 months from the original 6-12 month prognosis. But even in his last days, when asked how he was, the answer remained the same, “Life is Good. God is great.” As he liked to point out, “God promised eternal life, not long life on Earth…and I’ve had both.” Steve was a good and remarkable man who lived a full life. We are all grateful to have been a part of that life.

Steve is preceded in death by his parents Earl and Glenna; and his grandson Johnathan. He is survived by Jan, his wife of 41 years; son Michael (Meg) Jenkins; daughter Kellie (Justin) Brewer; and grandson Patrick. And “Daddy’s girl,” his dog, Kate.