Larry Alvin Jenkins

September 17, 1940December 19, 2020

Larry Alvin Jenkins September 17, 1940 – December 19, 2020

Larry Alvin Jenkins was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 17,1940, to Kerney Julius Jenkins and Evelyn Davis Jenkins. His parents preceded him in death.

Larry was of the Christian faith and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he graduated from Southern University Laboratory High School. He went on to attend Southern University for a few years and was united in matrimony to Alma Barthelemy on June 3, 1961. Their union was blessed with two daughters, Rachel and Larrie. In 1967 Larry moved his family to Chicago, Illinois where he earned a certificate in Building Construction and Supervision from Chicago Technical College. Larry later moved back to Louisiana, lived in Texas, and eventually settled in Lacey, Washington in 1986.

Larry worked most of his life as a building contractor specializing in remodeling residential and commercial properties, but following knee replacement surgeries, he needed to make a career change. In 1991 Larry began working as a school bus driver for North Thurston Public Schools. In working for the schools, Larry found a new passion in life. Wherever he saw a need, he leaned in as a mentor and change maker in support of the families and children of the community. Larry was known for taking an interest in the education of young people. He worked with school district administrators, faculty, and parents, and gave of his time and talents to programs such as “Books on Buses.” He broadened older students’ minds to the possibility of a college education and supported multicultural and diversity events throughout the area.

In 1994 Larry founded The Thurston Group of Washington State (TTGWS), a non-profit organization focused on encouraging local youth to consider higher education and enroll in a four-year university. Through relationships fostered with numerous colleges and universities across the country, TTGWS has helped several hundred students get accepted into four-year institutions and obtain scholarships. The group played a significant role in sending students from the Pacific Northwest to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 1996 TTGWS formed a partnership with South Puget Sound Community College that today continues to support hundreds of students from the Pacific Northwest who want to pursue higher education.

Larry received numerous community and civic awards including: the 2006 Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award by the Kiwanis Clubs of Thurston County; a 2006 Jefferson Award for Public Service; and a 2000 Golden Tennis Shoe Award given by Senator Patty Murray.

Larry’s legacy will forever live in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. With cherished memories he leaves his daughters, Rachel Evans (Darryl) and Larrie Henley; three sisters, A. Barbara Clarkson (Virgil), Dianne Shelmire (Donald), and Janice Woodard; four grandchildren, Marcus Evans, Trevor Evans, Lauren Henley, and Christopher Henley; four nieces, Laura Huggins, Monica Huggins, Nina Huggins-Irving (Leonard), and Raquelle Woodard; two nephews, Derrick Shelmire (Courtney) and Dedrick Shelmire (Debvin); his beloved godsister, Rose Taylor (Clarence); and many cousins and other relatives. He also leaves a host of wonderful and devoted friends who were considered extended family.

Interment will take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2021.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in memory of Larry:

• To donate to The Thurston Group of Washington State, for high school student scholarships, visit TTGWS’s website at • To donate a new children’s book to a North Thurston Public School elementary school library, please contact the librarian for a wish list (contact info at


Larry Alvin Jenkins

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bertha Day Rogers

July 15, 2021

You have my condolences with grace and truth there's two more daughters Melondy Day Miller and Monica Day Onasanwo. Much love Bertha Day Rogers.

Vanue Lacour Jr

April 4, 2021

Larry was a Southern Lab classmate and Scotlandville neighbor and friend. As kids it was always fun to visit Larry and hang around his Dad's lumber yard in Scotlandville. Its been years since I last saw Larry, but he is not one you would easily forget. We were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts together. My prayers and bereavement go out to his family. May his soul rest in peae.

Krystal Wynn

January 19, 2021

To the family,

Mr. Jenkins was always amazing to every student he met. The harder he was on you the better it was for you because he saw greatness in you when you didn’t. I can hear him saying “young lady or young man” not because he didn’t know your name but because he wanted to remind you of how you should be carrying yourself. I will remember him forever and I am grateful for everything he did for me. My condolences to your family during this time.

Krystal Cook Wynn

Stephanie Bolton

January 7, 2021

To the Evans & Henley Families!

I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you as you mourn the loss of your father. In this difficult time, please remember that you are supported and lifted up by the love of your friend! If there is anything you need please to do hesitate to reach out!

Love you all, The Bolton Family! Stephanie, Craig Sr., Craig Jr., and Stephen.

Myrna Lance

January 3, 2021

I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to Larry's family. Larry and I worked together for many years at North Thurston Transportation. He always displayed a positive attitude, no matter what the circumstances. We had many conversations not only about work, but about life. He genuinely cared for the students both on and off of his bus, volunteering many hours toward their success and well being.

Myrna Lance
Director of Transportation, Retired