“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
II Corinthians V:1
Mr. Arthur Jenkins Jr., retired Vice President of the former First National Bank in Cooperstown and an active and devoted member of the Masonic Fraternity, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, May 27, 2010, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, with family and friends by his side. He was 88.
Art was born Aug.27, 1921, in Greene County in the Town of Lexington, a son of the late Arthur and Elsie Mae (Van Valkenburgh) Jenkins.
In 1939, he graduated from the Hunter-Tannersville Central School, and later graduated from Albany Business College. He was first employed in 1941 in the office of Otsego County Forest Products in Phoenix Mills, and then for a time with Linn Manufacturing in Morris and the REA.
On Feb. 6, 1943, he married the former Ruby Robinson in the parsonage of the Cooperstown Methodist Church with the Rev’d. Fred’rick W. Connell, officiating. Art first met Ruby while boarding at the Robinson family homestead, “Elmhurst” located alongside the Susquehanna River, on the Phoenix Mills Road in Phoenix Mills.
In April 1943, Art enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country until receiving his honorable discharge from the military.
In 1944, Art and Ruby moved to Iowa, where they lived for the next six years and where he was employed as a bookkeeper for Lyster Electric Line Construction.
The family then moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, and moved one year later, in 1951, back to Cooperstown where they settled in Phoenix Mills and made their home at “Elmhurst.”
For the next 10 years, Art was employed as a bookkeeper for Cook’s Auto Supply on Main Street in Cooperstown.
He then went to work for the First National Bank on Main Street as a cashier and trust officer. When this bank merged in 1973 with Bankers Trust & Co., Art became as assistant vice president, and served in this position until his retirement in 1983.
For approximately 30 years, Art and Ruby also did the nightly bookkeeping for Robinson’s Service Station. A devoted Freemason, Art was Raised to the Degree of Master Mason in Otsego Lodge No. 138, Free and Accepted Masons in Cooperstown on the second day of December, A.D 1958, A.L. 5958. In 1965, he served the Lodge as Worshipful Master, and then faithfully served the Lodge as Secretary from 1966 until 1991. Art also served the Otsego-Schoharie Masonic District as District Deputy Grand Master in 1982, as well as District Chairman of the Masonic Brotherhood Fund. In 1983, he was made an Honorary Member of Oneonta Lodge No. 466, F. & A.M.
Art’s Masonic memberships also included those in the York Rite concordant bodies.
A Companion of Otsego Chapter No. 26, Royal Arch Masons in Cooperstown, he served the Chapter as High Priest on two separate occasions and was Treasurer until 1999.
He was also a member of Oneonta Council No 87, Cryptic Masons, in Oneonta, Otsego Commandery No. 76, Knights Templar in Cooperstown, and the Utica Chapter of the Red Cross of Constantine. For his years of service to the Fraternity, Art was honored by his Lodge brothers with the presentation of the Grand Lodge Dedicated Service Award.
In 2008, he was recognized by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York for 50 years of loyal support and dedication to the Masonic Fraternity.
While a stroke in the early 1990s caused Art to have to relinquish many of his duties in the Masonic Fraternity as well as his attendance at various functions, he remained a steadfast and devoted member, who was always curious about the “goings-on” at Lodge. This loyalty was the impetus for his Brother Masons to hold, each year, a Stated Communication of Otsego Lodge No. 138, F.&A. M., at The Meadows and later Otsego Manor so that Right Worshipful Brother Jenkins could physically attend Lodge once a year.
Art was active in several other organizations. A member of Cooperstown United Methodist Church, he served for 30 years as Treasurer of both the Salvation Army in Oneonta and the Northern Otsego Chapter of the American Red Cross. Additionally, he was treasurer of Troop 54 of the Boy Scouts in Cooperstown, treasurer of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cooperstown and secretary and treasurer of Fly Creek Valley Cemetery Association.
A resident of The Meadows and then Otsego Manor, Art remained an active and outspoken voice for his fellow residents, and served on the Resident Advisory Committee. He was known by many as The Greeter and The Mayor of The Manor. A lifelong animal lover, he was especially close to Sophie the dog and Paco the Quaker Parrot.
In summing up Art’s life, his good friend, Martin H.
Tillapaugh, Esq., is quoted as saying, “He may have lost a bit of his physical self over time, but he never lost any part of his true self.”
Art is survived by his daughter, Sue Ann Jenkins of Phoenix Mills; several nieces and nephews; his extraordinary family at Otsego Manor; and many, many friends.
He was predeceased by his wife, Ruby, who passed away on Nov. 14, 2004; his brother, Kenneth Jenkins, who died in June of 1968; his sister, Mrs. Ida Kuppens, formerly of Tennessee, who died in August of 2008; and his many beloved dogs.
A funeral service was offered at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, at Cooperstown United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Cooperstown, with the Rev’d Sundar R. Samuel, pastor, officiating. The Rev’d Stephen Fournier, Chaplain at Otsego Manor, assisted.
A Masonic Service was conducted Tuesday at the beginning of the services at the church.
The Service of Committal and Burial followed in Fly Creek Valley Cemetery.
There were no calling hours.
At a later date, a celebration of Art’s life will take place in the Chapel at Otsego Manor for the benefit of residents and staff who may be unable to attend his funeral on June 1st.
We give thanks to Thee for this Thy servant, recalling all in him that made others love him. We thank Thee for the good and gracious influence in his home and training, for all the goodness and truth that have passed from his life into the lives of others and have made the world richer for his presence.
We pray for those whose hearts are heaviest and who in this moment need Thee more than ever. Support us all as the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in Thy mercy grant us a safe lodging and Holy rest and peace at last. Amen.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial gifts may be made to the Residents Activity Fund at Otsego Manor, 128 Phoenix Mills Cross Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or to any charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements were under the care and direction of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  June 3, 2010