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Ralph Grady Jenkins

September 2, 1927 — March 26, 2024

Charleston

Ralph Grady Jenkins

Ralph Grady Jenkins, 96, of Charleston, South Carolina, husband of Betty Emory Jenkins passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, and met his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His funeral service will be held Saturday, March 30, 2024 in the J. Henry Stuhr, Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel 1494 Mathis Ferry Road at 2:30 pm. Interment will follow at Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
 
Ralph was born September 2, 1927, in Mullins, South Carolina. His parents were the late Luke Grady Jenkins and the late Sivil Chambliss Jenkins.  He was a veteran and proudly served in the U.S. Navy in both World War II in 1945 and the Korean War from 1950-1952. Ralph graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina in 1950 with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.  He later received his Master’s degree in business administration, also from The Citadel.  He attended the University of Colorado, the University of Virginia and graduated from the Defense Systems Management College in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
 
He met the one love of his life, Betty Emory, on a blind date in December 1950. It was Christmas Eve and they attended a Christmas Eve Service that evening at the Cradock Presbyterian Church in Portsmouth, Virginia.  They were married at the same church in August 1952. 
 
Ralph started his professional career at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia as an Electronics Engineer for NAVELEX.  His career touched many phases in the electronics field.  He established the Calibrations Laboratory in the Portsmouth shipyard and designed the communications system for the USS Yorktown that is now here in Charleston.  He served a term as Chairman of The Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers for the Norfolk-Portsmouth area.  He moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1972 and in 1984 retired as the Civilian Director of NAVELEX (now SPAWAR). 
 
After retirement he started an antique business concentrating on sterling silver pattern matching.  He and Betty did shows away from Charleston and in Charleston for many years.
 
Ralph was an avid sailor.  He was Commodore of the Citadel Yacht Club while attending school there and won many races sailing in the Thistle class.  When he moved back to Charleston in 1972, he joined the Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA) and participated in many races.  In 1978 he won the trophy as the navigator on the winning boat in the Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston race.  The trophy now is resting at the Carolina Yacht Club. 
 
Ralph and Betty enjoyed traveling.  They covered the United States and many foreign countries.  After taking their first cruise, cruising became their preferred method of travel, and they formed lifelong friendships with their fellow passengers. 
 
Ralph was a Lone Eagle Scout in Minturn, South Carolina.  He enjoyed Boy Scout Camps in the summer and in 1945 hiked 40 miles with the scouts on the Appalachian Trail.  He served as Scout Master for the Cradock Virginia Troop. 
 
Ralph was always active in Christian activities.  He served as elder in the three Presbyterian Churches of which he was a member.  He served on many church committees and was a Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1969.  Also, he was president of the Young Adults of the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Virginia.
 
In addition to his wife, Betty, of 71 years, he is survived by daughters, Jane Jenkins Felsenthal (Howell) of Oklahoma City, OK and Anne Walpole (Bud) of Johns Island, SC;  grandchildren, Eugene "Gene" Hay Walpole IV (Kristen) of Charleston, SC, Katherine Walpole Morbitzer (David) of Mt. Pleasant, SC and Nick Felsenthal (Melissa) of Ft. Collins, CO;  great-grandchildren, Legare Walpole, Mae Walpole, Grady Morbitzer, Caleb Morbitzer and Martin Felsenthal. Also, nieces and nephews survive.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Donald Jenkins, Frances Garrison, Havelyn Jones, and Shirley Hamilton.
 
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Endowment Fund of the Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church 302 Hibben Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.
 
A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Grady Jenkins, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 30, 2024

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 30, 2024

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Interment with Military Honors

Saturday, March 30, 2024

3:15 - 4:15 pm (Eastern time)

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