William's Story

MILLINOCKET - William Robert Jenkins, M.D., died unexpectedly on Friday, February 27, 2015, as the result of complications of treatment of a recently found illness. This caring and compassionate, honorable and humble man, lived fully with his heart, soul and intellect, cherishing his love of family, humanity and country until the last.

Born of the late Marjorie Helen (Mooers) and William Earl Jenkins on July 24, 1940, he grew up in the Bangor-Brewer area along with his love of Maine. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 1958 and from the University of Maine in 1962. Entering the U.S. Army from the ROTC, he served several years on active duty, including two years in Vietnam, where he earned two Bronze Stars. He later retired from the Army Reserves with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While in Vietnam, his life direction and goal to be a family physician evolved. He eventually attended George Washington University School of Medicine, graduating in 1982, followed by a residency in family medicine at Brown University's Pawtucket Memorial Hospital.

Bill's desire to be a family doctor in the true sense of the word brought him to the Katahdin area, where he opened a private practice in 1985. For 25 years, he saw all patients with unmatched gentleness, regardless of their situation, in the office and at the hospital, using any stamina and knowledge he could muster and seeking the help of others if needed. He fully appreciated all those who worked around him in all roles to provide health care to the area.

Dr. Jenkins was Maine Family Doctor of the Year in 1999 and received both the DEAPA Physician of the Year and the MPCA Clinical Excellence Award in 2007. His professional interests included emergency medicine and geriatrics. He was Medical Director of the Millinocket Regional Hospital Emergency Room and affiliated with the local Fire and Ambulance services. He made regular house calls to the elderly and shut in. He became board certified in geriatrics, which served him well in his position as Medical Director of the Katahdin Area Nursing Home. For the past several years, he traveled with Vets With a Mission (VWAM) to Vietnam to provide medical care to those in need.

Exemplary of his politeness, Bill's courteous request to sit next to a young woman in a biochemistry class led to his lifelong love. Leslie Lynn (Peterson) and Bill were married in 1974 and celebrated 40 years of marriage last June with their sons, Mark William of Phoenix and David Victor of Boston, both of whom he was extremely proud.

Bill's private interests were many, but his love of music was known to all, crossing several genres and decades. He always had a non-fiction book going on anything from politics to science to history. He had recently developed an interest in photography and was looking forward to improving his skills when he retired. He loved the great outdoors and the natural beauty of Maine, enjoying lobster with family on the coast, target shooting with friends, and relaxing at camp. His strong faith and belief in God were practiced in his daily life and at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, where he had been a lay reader and a member of the vestry.

The family invites those who wish to visit on Friday, March 6, from 4-7 p.m. at Lamson Funeral Home, 11 Tamarack St., Millinocket. Services will be held on Saturday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Memorial donations may be made to Vets With A Mission, 1307 Caldwell Street, 3rd Floor, Newberry, SC 29108; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 40 Highland Ave, Millinocket, ME 04462; or Millinocket Regional Hospital, 200 Somerset St., Millinocket, ME 04462. Messages of condolence may be expressed at www.lamsonfh.com.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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