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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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November 29, 2022

8/23/2022 5:29:00 AM
Wilfred "Red" Medford Jenkins

Wilfred "Red" Medford Jenkins, age 89, passed away peacefully from this world on Aug. 16, 2022, at the Friendly Village in Rhinelander, surrounded by his wife of 71 years and his children. He was born on July 24, 1933, in Park Falls, to Everrett and Hazel (Smith) Jenkins.

Red was one of nine children, and was raised and attended schools in the Pelican Lake/Enterprise area. It was at Pine Grove School, in second grade, where he met an "older woman" third grader, Trudy Wegner. The girls would chase "Young Sonny" (as he was known as in those days), catch him, hold him down, and kiss him on the cheek. Sonny would get up yelling, "Dang girls"! Little did he know one of those "dang girls" would become his future bride.

Red married Trudy Wegner on July 28, 1951, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rhinelander. They moved to Sturgeon Bay, where they began their family. Red would learn his vocation of welding at Christie's Shipyards until its closure in 1953. After a few years, they moved to Milwaukee and Red welded on the assembly line at American Motors while he and Trudy continued to build their family. In 1964, they returned to the Enterprise area, where Red would start a logging business working with his two brothers. He was proud to log the old fashioned way, select cutting and skidding by horse, especially his old Belgium horse, Sam.

In 1973, he returned to welding at Marplex in Rhinelander, retiring in 1994. Known as "one more rod Red", he made lifelong friends through mentoring, telling stories, off color jokes and always speaking his mind.

Retirement did not slow Red down. He maintained properties around Pelican Lake, put up more firewood than necessary, and became lord of the lawn at home with his old black Lab Jake at his side. He enjoyed fishing both summer and ice, but especially salmon fishing in Marinette on Lake Michigan. In 2012, Red and Trudy moved into Rhinelander to be closer to the kids. Dad enjoyed sitting on deck visiting family and neighbors, daily walk , feeding birds, taming chipmunks, watching way too much CNN, and hitting the casino any chance he could get.

Red is survived by his sweetheart of 71 years Trudy, son John (Kelli) Jenkins, daughters Ruth Spray, Karen Fenske, Patrice Parker (Gary Fleischman) and June (James) Moyer, 16 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandson, his sister Margie Melby, brother Ed (Sue) Jenkins, and many nieces and nephews. Red was preceded in death by his beloved son Michael in 1975, his parents Everett and Hazel, sisters Delores, Behulah, Linda, Lorraine, and Rosie, brother Bob, son-in-law Gary Spray, and grandson John Spray, as well as many four-legged companions.

Red bravely chose to stop dialysis after 5+ years. He wanted to die as he lived, on his own terms, with full mental capacity. He continued to make those around him laugh with his wit, stories and B.S. right to his last day.

The family would like to acknowledge the Davita Dialysis staff and fellow patients that became his second family. We would also like to thank the selfless and amazing staff at Friendly Village for the great care and love you've shown Dad these last 4 months, as well as to Compassus Hospice for the spiritual guidance, patience and compassion that helped us navigate this trying time. Sleep Easy, Dad.

Red had asked for privacy during his last week, not wanting anyone crying over him. Honoring Dad's wishes, there will be no services at this time. A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

You may leave your private condolences for the Jenkins family at The Carlson Funeral Home (714-369-1414) is assisting the Jenkins family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2022
Article comment by: David Fischer

I will miss Red very much and he was a great friend and person while I was at the rehab center friendly village. My condolences to the family and other friends.1Y5ZJM

Posted: Friday, August 26, 2022
Article comment by: Wayne La Crosse

So sorry to hear of Red's passing. I worked at Marplex back in the 80s and got to know him, he was/is a very special person that will never be forgotten. God bless you Red.

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