Eleanor Jenkins

Eleanor Jenkins

Eleanor Marie Jenkins of Polo, aged 90, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family on the evening of March 5th, 2024.

Born on June 22, 1933 in Kewanee, Illinois, the daughter of James and Nina (Nelson) Quayle, she married William Ryan Jenkins on June 27, 1953 at Visitation Church, Kewanee. As her father was the Kewanee Park Superintendent, Eleanor and family lived above the Baker Park Clubhouse on the 2nd floor. She learned to golf at a young age from her father, the Baker Park Pro. She also began her love of swimming, spending most summer days at the Northeast Park Swimming Pool.

After graduation from Kewanee High School in 1951, Eleanor, a talented seamstress, taught sewing at the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Kewanee. She then married and began raising her family. While raising 4 children, she pursued a degree in education, attending 7 different colleges, over an 8 year span, receiving her Associate’s degree from Sauk Valley Community College in 1969 and her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Northern Illinois University in 1972.

Eleanor was a teacher’s aide for 2 years at Congress School. Hired as a teacher in 1975, she taught at Congress School and Polo Junior High School for a few years. She then became the 4th Grade Teacher at Centennial School, retiring from that position in 1993.

Eleanor was on the sidelines at football games and behind the players’ bench during basketball games, keeping the statistics for her husband, Coach Bill Jenkins. Post-games would find her calling these stats and scores into the local newspapers.

During her retirement years Eleanor enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, planting and weeding her gardens, sewing, doing projects at the house, swimming, attending school events for her grandchildren, and going to PCHS football games where her son Terry coached the Frosh-Soph football team, assisted by her husband Bill.

Survivors include her two sons, Terry (Pam) Jenkins of Polo and Tim (Libby) Jenkins of Polo, two daughters, Kalah Jenkins of Geneva and Kathy (Mark) Scholl of Polo, a sister, Betty Jones of Geneseo, seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, two nieces, a nephew, and a great-great grandson.

Visitation will be at Polo Family Funeral Home, 110 E. Dixon St., Polo, from 5:00 to 7:00 on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Private graveside services will be held in Kewanee, Illinois, where she will be laid to rest by her beloved husband.

At the family’s request, please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne and/or scented lotions due to a family member’s medical condition.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials supporting the Polo Schools Foundation (Centennial School), CGH Medical Center Health Foundation (specifying Dementia Project) or the Serenity House and Hospice Center.

Condolences may be sent to pffh.condolences@gmail.com.

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