Cover photo for Wayland Lawrence Jenkins, Jr.'s Obituary
Wayland Lawrence Jenkins, Jr. Profile Photo
1931 Wayland 2024

Wayland Lawrence Jenkins, Jr.

October 10, 1931 — March 2, 2024

   Wayland Lawrence Jenkins, Jr., age 92, died Saturday, March 2, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

   Mr. Jenkins was born in Norfolk, Virginia on October 10, 1931, was the son of the late Wayland L., Sr. and Sallie Harrell Jenkins of Aulander, NC and the grandson of Joseph Henry and Olivia Benthall Jenkins and William Joseph, MD, and Bettie Rice Harrell, all of Aulander. In addition to his parents and grandparents, he was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Jenny Cooke Jenkins.

A native of Aulander, North Carolina, he maintained homes for many years in his favorite cities of Arlington, VA, Delray Beach, FL, and Ahoskie, NC.

   Mr. Jenkins was a graduate from Aulander High School and Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, North Carolina, class of 1953. He was a member of Sigma Pi social fraternity and a columnist on the “Old Gold and Black” newspaper.  

   Mr. Jenkins served in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 where he was stationed in Ulm, Germany. After being discharged he returned home to begin working in various family businesses. Upon the death of his father, he and his brother, Joe Henry Jenkins, owned and operated Chas. H. Jenkins & Co. of Aulander and Ahoskie, NC, Marsh Chevrolet Co. of Aulander, and Standard Chevrolet Co. of Ahoskie, NC, all General Motors car dealerships. In 1964, the duo formed Jenkins Investments, a partnership devoted to the management of rental properties, farm and forest interests and financial investments. He was also a director of the Roanoke-Chowan Broadcasting Co. (WRCS).

   In his early years, he was active in the Bertie County Historical Association and served on the Board of Directors of Historic Murfreesboro and the North Carolina Preservation Society. He was the first President of Historic Hope Foundation, Windsor, NC, an organization dedicated to restoring North Carolina Governor David Stone’s Mansion in Bertie County. He later co-chaired the first Friends of Hope Committee.

   Governor Robert W. Scott honored Mr. Jenkins by appointing him to a four-year term on the North Carolina Executive Mansion Fine Arts Committee. He was co-chairman of the North Carolina Tercentenary Celebration in Bertie County.

   In 1999, Wayland was instrumental in organizing and funding the Bertie/Hertford affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. During his life he supported various local church, civic, historical, and charitable causes in North Carolina and the Delray Beach Public Library, Delray Beach, Florida. He was also the longest serving director of Wachovia Bank, Ahoskie, NC. 

   Through his generous support, the Wayland L. Jenkins, Jr. Fine Arts Center opened in 2010 on the campus of Chowan University, an institution supported by the Jenkins family for many generations. Mr. Jenkins established the Wayland L. Jenkins, Jr. Collection of Furniture and Furnishings at the Camp President’s Home and became one of the institution’s most avid supporters.

   A faithful Episcopalian, Mr. Jenkins attended All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church, Washington, DC and Bethesda by the Sea, Palm Beach, Florida.

   Always the epitome of a southern gentleman, Wayland enjoyed escorting the ladies to various social affairs, enjoyed cocktail and dinner parties, and tea dances at the Old Cavalier Beach Club in Virginia Beach and other various towns. His wonderful dry wit and large personality will be missed by many.

   Mr. Jenkins is survived by his brother, Joe Henry Jenkins of Nags Head, NC, numerous cousins and many close friends.

   Following a private burial in the Aulander Cemetery, a memorial service will be held in the Chowan Chapel on the campus of Chowan University, One University Place, Murfreesboro, NC on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 2:00 pm with Dr. M. Christopher White, presiding. A reception will follow in the Chowan Chapel Foyer.

   Memorial contributions in memory of Wayland L. Jenkins, Jr. may be made to the Sallie Harrell Jenkins Memorial Public Library, Post Office Box 189, Aulander, N.C. 27805, or to the Wayland L. Jenkins, Jr. Unrestricted Fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612.

   Miller & Van Essendelft Funeral Home & Crematory, 735 Virginia Road, Edenton, is handling arrangements and online condolences may be made by visiting

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayland Lawrence Jenkins, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Chowan Chapel at Chowan University

1 University Drive, Murfreesboro, NC 27855

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