Eleanor Jane (Toft) Jenkins, 86, of Mitchell, SD, died Thursday, November 12, 2020 at Firesteel Healthcare Center due to COVID-19. A private family service will be 10:30 AM Saturday, November 28 at the Downtown First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
The service can be viewed via Live-Stream at: https://livestream.com/mitchell-fumc or on Mitchell Telecom Channel 110.
Eleanor was born in Mitchell, SD on September 18, 1934 to George and Florence (Gillis) Toft. She attended Mitchell public schools and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1952. She graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1956. While she was in college, she was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She met her husband, Ronald Richard Jenkins, of Early, Iowa while attending U.S.D. They were married on July 28, 1956.
Ron and Eleanor lived in Mitchell, SD most of their married life with short stints in Germany; Salem, SD; Huron, SD; and Yankton, SD. They enjoyed escaping the SD winters by spending time in Venice, FL and they enjoyed their summers at their cabin in Mystic, SD. They loved living on the Mickelson Trail and each year they helped serve refreshments to the 600 bicyclists who rode the Mickelson Trail Trek each fall.
Eleanor's most cherished role was being a stay at home mother to her three daughters. She was an avid volunteer for numerous organizations including the Girl Scouts, church circle and United Methodist Women, a 64 year member of P.E.O., Chapter J, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, Fortnightly, Meals on Wheels, YWCA and Davison County Republican Organization where she served as a precinct captain and an election poll worker.
Eleanor was known for her great cooking and enjoyed entertaining family and friends. She also loved watching DWU basketball games and the Mitchell Kernels. Ron and Eleanor could be spotted on a regular basis at their preferred seats at the Corn Palace for these events.
She is survived by her daughters: Julie (Joe) Lichter, McKinney, TX; Nancy (Todd) Boyd, Mitchell, SD; Susan (Jim) Fitzgibbons, Sioux Falls, SD; grandchildren: Laura (Dustin) Kerschner, Oconomowoc, WI: Emily (Kyler Oswald) Lichter, Lincoln, NE; David (Maggie Burda) Lichter, Sioux Falls, SD; Dr. Andrew (Dr. Kyla) Boyd, Sioux Falls, SD; Ryan (Erika) Boyd, Mitchell, SD; Spencer (Anna Keefe) Boyd, Mitchell, SD; Frank, Jack and Maggie Fitzgibbons, Sioux Falls, SD; Great-grandchildren: Brooklynn and Mitchell Kerschner, Oconomowoc, WI; Cooper and Collins Boyd, Sioux Falls, SD and Arthur Boyd, Mitchell, SD.
She is preceded in death by her husband Ron who died on April 20, 2020, her parents and sister, Emilie Jeanne Toft.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Dakota Wesleyan University or the Downtown First United Methodist Church.