Augusta Cora Jenkins, 95, a native of Hull, died at Athens Heritage on Friday, June 24, 2011. A former teacher, Miss Jenkins was a lifelong champion of the importance of reading and of the virtues of her community in Madison County.
Born in Madison County in 1915, Miss Jenkins was the first child of Alma Crawford Jenkins and James Vandiver Jenkins, Sr. She began her primary school education in Ila, traveling to school in a horse-drawn buggy. Her passion for reading was spurred by her first reading textbook, The Practical Primer. Miss Jenkins graduated in 1932, and was the valedictorian of her class. She entered the University of Georgia that fall, and after completing her sophomore year in 1934, she began her career as a teacher. "To teach--to be a corking-strong teacher--was my goal," she said. Her first position was teaching a combined class of third-and fourth-graders in Colbert, Georgia, for two years; she then taught for a year at the Bio School in Hart County and the following years, in Clayton, Georgia. Meanwhile, Miss Jenkins attended summer school and over the course of four successive summer semesters she completed her BA in education in 1938. She received her Master's degree from the University in 1945. Miss Jenkins also taught in Carrollton, Georgia, and Kingsport, Tennessee, before moving to GSCW in Milledgeville, Georgia, as supervisor of student teachers. In 1948, she embarked on a new career as an education consultant for the MacMillan Publishing Company. Her specialty was reading, and she worked with elementary schoolteachers throughout 33 states. During this period, she searched in vain for a copy of the primer that had prompted her love of reading at the very start of her education.
After her retirement in 1980, Miss Jenkins became actively involved in her community. She was a charter member of the Pilot Club, and she also served as its president. Combining her love of reading and of her community, Miss Jenkins was a passionate advocate of the new Madison County Library and served as a charter member and trustee of the Madison County Library Board. She was also a charter member and director of the Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Heritage Foundation of Madison County and Retired Teachers. In 1999 Miss Jenkins was named to the Committee for the Restoration of the Madison County Courthouse, built in Danielsville in 1901. The Madison County Clean and Beautiful Committee named her "Citizen of the Year," most likely because of what she referred to as her "Morning Glory Walks on Nowhere Road," when she took brisk walks for exercise and picked up trash along the road where she was born and lived. Augusta, as she was widely known in the county, faithfully attended the meetings of the Madison County Board of Commissioners for many years.
She was predeceased by a sister, Mary Jenkins Hunt; brother, James Vandiver Jenkins, Jr.; nephew, Howard Jenkins Hunt; and a great-niece, Virginia Vail Burriss.
Survivors include a brother and sister-in-law, Crawford and Jane Jenkins, Stone Mountain; sister-in-law, Rachel Jordan Jenkins, Royston; nieces, Harriet Jenkins Gray, Royston, and Dr. Annie Hunt-Burriss, Atlanta; nephews, James Vandiver Jenkins, III, Long Island City, N.Y., James Mathews Hunt, Greenville, S.C., David Crawford Jenkins, Stone Mountain; three great-nephews; two great-great nephews; and a number of cousins.
Miss Jenkins was a member of the Union Baptist Church on Highway 106, where a memorial service will be held on Monday, June 27, at 3 p.m. There will be a private interment service at the family plot in the church cemetery an hour before the memorial service. After the service in the church, a reception for family and friends will be held in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Madison County Library, 1315 Highway 98 W., Danielsville, GA 30633 for a Madison County Museum.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home in Danielsville is in charge of arrangements.