Shirley Ann Carlson Jenkins was born on October 5, 1942 in Seattle, Washington to Eileen Ostrand Carlson and Oscar August (Carl) Carlson. She died on August 18, 2022 following a battle with cancer. She was married to David Jenkins from 1968-1973. Shirley is mother to Vicki Jenkins Culp and Eric John Jenkins, and grandmother to Emma Kelly. She is also survived by her brother William Carlson.
Shirley was raised on Bainbridge Island and graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1960. She attended Pacific Lutheran University and studied music and education. After graduation, she taught for ten years in the Seattle Public Schools. She did graduate work at the University of Washington in ethnomusicology. After the birth of her children, she returned home to Bainbridge Island where she lived until her death. Shirley taught music in the Central Kitsap School District for twenty-eight years before her retirement in 2010, the last eighteen of which were at Brownsville Elementary. She was known for her energetic and engaging classes and for bringing the community together for concerts and performances. Shirley also worked for many years as a church choir director.
Not one to sit still, after she retired from teaching Shirley and her suitcase of instruments made their way up to Benaroya Hall many Saturdays for the Tiny Tots program with the Seattle Symphony. In time, she became the coordinator for the Education and Community Engagement department for the Symphony, a volunteer role that she greatly enjoyed. In 2019, she was awarded the Simon Woods Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service. Shirley also volunteered with the Swedish Finn Historical Society.
Shirley had a bottomless curiosity, a lively mind, and a generous heart. Frequent adventurous travels with friends took her all over the world. Her musical instrument collection grew with each trip. Shirley was a voracious reader and loved discussing the events of the day. She enjoyed many genres of music, particularly jazz, classical, and choral music. Shirley had a deep appreciation for the 1883 family homestead on Manzanita Bay and savored time in her garden and with family.
A memorial service will be held on September 24th at 2 PM at Vinland Lutheran Church in Poulsbo. Memorial gifts are suggested to the Seattle Symphony, Swedish Finn Historical Society, or a memorial of your choice.