Celia Jenkins was an educator and founder of the Anna B. Norris Day Care Center.
Jenkins died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. She was 73.
She was born March 2, 1939 to the late Willis and Erma Ballard.
She graduated from William Penn High School in 1957 and received her bachelor’s degree in education from Cheyney University.
She married her childhood sweetheart, the Rev. Norris Jenkins in 1963. The couple had three children and were active members of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
In 1970, she joined Third Eternal Baptist Church, where she served faithfully in ministry until she passed. Jenkins held various positions in the church, including deaconess, former president of the Hospitality Ministry, the Children’s Church Ministry, a Sunday school teacher, the former director of the Vacation Bible School and the church clerk. Jenkins also served as director of the SHARE Program, a member of the anniversary committee, the mission’s committee and the Garden of Prayer ministry.
Jenkins’ passion for teaching became evident early in life. She taught elementary education and was a reading specialist in Philadelphia public schools for more than 15 years. Upon retirement from the school district, Jenkins founded and managed Anna B. Norris Day Care, a state-licensed preschool for children. Her school’s motto was “Reach the Youth with the Truth at an Early Age.”
Jenkins successfully operated her business until health issues forced her into retirement.
She received numerous awards for her work with children, teaching and for the development of reading programs and procedures.
“However her most treasured accolades were the thanks she received from former students when they achieved adulthood,” her family said.
Jenkins was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, an educator’s sisterhood.
Jenkins enjoyed being in the company of family and friends. She was known for her hospitality. She was an avid player of board games. She enjoyed singing, driving, reading, eating out, westerns and action movies.
Jenkins was preceded in death by her sister, Dorothy, and brother, Ernest.
In addition to her husband, Jenkins is survived by her daughters, Charity Ann and Naomi Ruth; grandchildren, Titus, Aliyah, Eli, Gabriel and Sheila; brothers, Willis, James and Darius; sisters, Evelyn, Essie, Erma and Vanessa; uncle, Elisha; aunt, Catherine and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held Feb. 8 at Third Eternal Baptist Church, 5364 Chew Ave. Viewing will be at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
Walton B. Brown Funeral Home handled the arrangements.