Nora Morgan Jenkins passed away on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at the age of 83 from stroke complications. She was a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge and graduated from Istrouma High School in 1956. She went on to attend Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana to study nursing while working every other semester to pay for college. Instead of getting her B.S. from there, she received her MRS. when she and her then boyfriend, James “Jim” Edward Jenkins, Sr., crossed over the Texas state line and eloped in Jasper County, January 28, 1959. They had not dated very long before eloping but were happily married for over 63 years. Nora, or Nana as her grandkids affectionately called her, used to say that she and Jim were like bookends. You could not have one without the other. She said she fell in love with a cowboy as Jim grew up on his family’s cattle ranch and farm in New Mexico and wore his cowboy hat and boots on campus. Jim always called Nora his “little Cajun beauty.” Nora attended Louisiana State University at night while working for the State to complete her degree and never made below an A. She received her Bachelor of Science in 1978. Her love for books inspired her to become a librarian. Nora left her job at the State Department of Revenue and obtained her Master of Library Information Science from LSU and was the oldest graduate there in May of 1988. She began working at the State Library as a reference librarian and made many friends. It was her dream job. Nora was the President of the Louisiana Library Association for a time.
Family was the focus of Nora’s life. She dearly loved her immediate and extended family. Jim, her husband, was cherished by her as she was by him. Nana was immensely proud of her two children, Jim, Jr. and Janine. One could not get very far in a conversation before she would bring up her three grandchildren Earl, Morgan, and Madison. She truly enjoyed the company of her son-in-law, Earl and the companionship of her son’s partner, Raymond. Her sisters, sisters-in-law, brothers, and brothers-in-law were all very close and she adored her nieces and nephews. A little one that had a special place in her heart and at her side was her little dog, Belle, whom she called her “little baby doll.” She also had a granddog, Baci; a grandcat, Penny; and a great granddog, Rosie that she just loved to see.
Nana enjoyed gardening and could usually be found outside amongst her flowering verge repotting plants, adding new varieties, pulling weeds, and fighting off “those darn mosquitos.” Her favorite flowers were red camellias because of the “beautiful carpet” the fallen flowers made on the ground. She also loved crepe myrtles, magnolias, and the majestic live oaks. Music captivated her and in her seventies she joined the Lagniappe Dulcimer Society to learn to play the dulcimer. She loved that sweet sound and went on to play gigs at different venues around Baton Rouge and to perform at the Lagniappe Dulcimer Fete. At Christmas time, she would play songs for the family. She also took up the steel drum in later years and played it at some of the gigs as well. Nora always finished her song with drum sticks held high in the air for a big finish. She was quite the performer and even began learning to play the piano.
Her attention to detail was unmatched. Crossword puzzles were her forte. She was a wordsmith and could quickly finish the New York Times puzzle. She would blaze through a 2,000 piece puzzle and do the finest embroidery stitches one could ever see. She was a skilled seamstress and made a most excellent fudge amongst other desserts.
Nora is survived by her beloved husband, James “Jim” Edward Jenkins, Sr.; son, James “Jim” Edward Jenkins, Jr. (Raymond Hatton) of Baton Rouge, LA; daughter, Janine Elayne Jenkins Rousseau (Earl) of Atlanta, GA; grandson, Earl Pierre Rousseau III of Murfreesboro, TN; granddaughter, Morgan Ansley Rousseau of Houston, TX; granddaughter, Madison Lauren Rousseau of Washington, DC; sister, Hellen Louise Morgan Geromini of Denham Springs, LA ; sister, Mary Edith Morgan Larrimore (Maurice) of Manchaca, TX; sister-in-law, Paula Beth Jenkins Hill of Farmington, NM; half-brothers, Pete Carmona (Mary), Paul Carmona (Helen), and Randy Carmona; nephews, Mark Duke (Cindy), Conrad “Rip” Hanna (Kim), John “Chip” Hanna (Erin), Robert “Bobby” Geromini (Tammy), Joseph “Joey” Geromini (Teresa), Timothy “Timmy” Geromini (Lisa), Jaime Morgan, Richard “Ricky” Shaver (Shanita), Harold Larrimore (Erica), Stephen Frederick Larrimore (Cyndi), Randall “Randy” Hill, and Rex Nixon (Betty); nieces, Pamela Hill Newman Bent Edwards (Travis), Susan “Susie” Geromini Recotta (Russell), and Mary Duke Legendre (Andre). She is predeceased by her parents, John “Freddie” Frederick Morgan and Nora Babin Morgan Carmona; Jim’s parents, Paul William and Betty Elizabeth Blount Jenkins; her sisters, Dorothy Lee Morgan Duke, Martha Mae Morgan Hanna, Barbara Jannette Morgan Shaver, and Kathleen Gayle Morgan; brother, John “Freddie” Frederick Morgan, Jr.; half-sister, Juanita Carmona; half-brother, Virgil Lee Carmona; brothers-in-law, Jack Donald Duke, Max Baer Hanna, and Raymond Geromini; sister-in-law, Anna Willene Jenkins Nixon Foster; nephews, Max Baer Hanna, Jr. and John Frederick Shaver; niece, Jacqueline “Jackie” Duke Aguilar Travis; and her beloved cousin Gloria Aucoin Charlton.HH
Pallbearers will be Earl P. Rousseau II, Earl P. Rousseau III, Raymond Hatton, Mark Duke, Joey Geromini, and Timmy Geromini. Honorary pallbearers are Bobby Geromini, Rip Hanna, Chip Hanna, Randy Hill, Rex Nixon, Jaime Shaver, and Ricky Shaver.
Visiting hours will take place at Resthaven Funeral Home from 1:30pm until services at 2:30pm on Saturday, October 1, 2022. Burial will follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory.
The family would like to sincerely thank the staff of The Claiborne at Shoe Creek and The Hospice of Baton Rouge for her care.