James Dale “Jimmy” Jenkins was a lifelong resident of Belgrade, Missouri. As a young boy of nine, he watched as the Belgrade Volunteer Fire Department arrived at his home in a brand new fire truck for its first call. He never forgot the service and dedication of those volunteers as they strived to save his family home and belongings.
Jimmy served in Vietnam in 1968 as a lineman and radio operator. Shortly after returning home, he joined the fire department, where he spent the rest of his life as a dedicated, active member. He spent countless hours working on vehicles, fundraising events, and as an officer within the organization. He was a dedicated supporter and advocate for more than 50 years. He served as assistant chief for over 20 years.
Jenkins also served as a member of the honors team for the Bismarck VFW Post 6947, where he participated in numerous ceremonies for his fellow veterans. Jimmy received full military honors from his own honors team members and was recognized by the Firefighters Association of Missouri for years of faithful service.
Jimmy suffered a heart attack and died shortly after returning home from a structure fire. As a result, his death was ruled to be in the line of duty.
Jimmy Dale dearly loved his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. He worked for most of his adulthood as a heavy diesel mechanic in a local mine and two quarries. He spent time over the years advancing his knowledge and skills in the trade, becoming a master in the field. He enjoyed NASCAR and sprint car racing, traveling, restoring vehicles, gold panning, and oftentimes helping friends and neighbors with his mechanical knowledge.
Jimmy Dale Jenkins was a self-made man with a variety of hobbies and interests. He spent his final years owning and working on the family farm where he had witnessed, many years earlier, the Belgrade Fire Department fighting a fire to save his home.
He was loved and admired by many. He will be missed.