Edith Berniece Samuels Jenkins, 90
Published 5:21 pm Sunday, October 15, 2023
Born on Jan. 2, 1933, in Crenshaw, Panola County, Edith Berniece “Bunny” Samuels Jenkins was the only child of Walter and O’Dell Samuels. Bunny grew up enjoying farm life and many adventures with friends and cousins. Bunny played basketball in high school and graduated from Sardis High School in 1950.
At the age of seventeen, Bunny married her husband of 71 years, Otis Jenkins, on May 19, 1950. Starting out with only their deep love for each other, they began working together to achieve their dreams. Saving to start their own business, Otis worked at a service station while continuing to farm, and Bunny worked at the local grocery store in Sledge. Eventually, they bought the service station and a small country store, which Bunny ran while Otis farmed.
Otis and Bunny purchased their current home in Pleasant Grove soon thereafter and began their family. Sadly, their first child, Walter Jene, was stillborn, but a daughter, Sherrye Dell, was born in 1955, followed by another son, Steven Keith, in 1962.
While Otis worked to expand their farming operations, Bunny operated the store, managed their household, and even tended to the daily care of the hogs they raised for extra income. Together, they formed Jenkins Planting Company in 1971 as a large-scale farming operation, focusing on the production of soybeans and rice. Together they farmed for over 70 years, until Otis’s death in 2021.
Bunny grew up attending church with her parents and was a member of Easley Memorial Baptist Church outside of Crenshaw. In 1960, Bunny and Otis began attending Peach Creek Baptist Church in Pleasant Grove, where she remained an active member until her death. At Peach Creek she served in numerous leadership roles, as well as on various committees, including the Nominating, Flowers, and Building and Grounds Committees. Bunny also taught Sunday School and served as the Adult Discipleship Training teacher for many years. Bunny was also very involved in the Women’s Missionary Union at Peach Creek and often served as a delegate for her church to the local Baptist Association. She was a lady who lived out her faith and love for God, led by example, and always reminded her family to put God first and family second.
Bunny was also an active part of her community, helping with the formation of North Delta School, and supporting Otis as he served on the Pleasant Grove Water Association Board. Bunny led a local Girl Scout Troop in the 1960s and arranged many camping adventures for the troop. She also volunteered with the Panola County Republican Party during the 1990s.
Bunny loved her family dearly and was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was always active and involved in the lives of all her family. She was proud to say that she taught all her grandchildren to cook and was always a phone call away to guide them through a recipe. Bunny enjoyed fashion and decorating, especially for Christmas, when she delighted in placing a Christmas tree in every room of her house. Bunny loved gardening and being outdoors. She proudly mowed her own grass and tended her yard well into her eighties. She grew roses, iris, lilies, hydrangeas, and various other flowers, and for many years helped to provide fresh flowers for her church each week.
On, Oct. 14, 2023, at the age of ninety, Bunny passed away peacefully at her home in Pleasant Grove, surrounded by her loving family. She leaves behind a legacy of hard work, success, devotion to family, and above all, service to Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. Bunny is survived by her children, Sherrye Pattridge (Peter) and Keith Jenkins; her four grandchildren, PJ Pattridge (Lisa), Nicole Pattridge Rhines (Tre’), Jessica Jenkins Aldison (Colt), and Austin Jenkins Mabry (Justin); her nine great-grandchildren, Eli and Adele Pattridge, Price and Lucy Rhines, Sailor and Finley Aldison, and Piper, Otis Gray, and Rush Mabry; and many nieces and nephews.
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31: 28-31