Doris Downes Jenkins

Doris Downes Jenkins

July 30, 1925 – Dec 7, 2017

 Doris Downes Jenkins, 92, of Falls Church, Virginia, passed away peacefully at the Adler Center for Caring surrounded by her loving family on Thursday, December 7, 2017. She was born in Washington, D.C. on July 30, 1925, the daughter of Thomas and Kathleen Downes.

A longtime Falls Church, Virginia resident, Doris worked as a telephone operator for over 30 years. Her career span ranged from corded switchboards and party lines to computers.  She was part of a Smithsonian American History Museum exhibit and oral recording, “All Alone by the Telephone”, recounting the historical communication particulars of another era. A military widow for over 40 years, Doris volunteered for more than 20 years at the Ft. Myer Army Post in Arlington, Virginia in charge of widow outreach. During that time she offered support and assistance to new widows during one of the most emotional and overwhelming times of their lives. Throughout her life, Doris traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States. She is survived by her five children, Spencer, Donald and Kenneth Cake and Michael Austin and her daughter, Kathleen Austin McKeever, along with 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Services will be held Thursday, January 11 at 3pm at Old Post Ft. Myer Chapel, 204 Lee Avenue, Ft. Meyers, Virginia with interment to follow at Arlington Cemetery.  A reception in celebration of her life will be held at 1600 – 1800 hours (4 – 6pm) at the Fort Myer Officer’s Club, 214 Jackson Avenue, Fort Myers in the Chaffee Room.


One Response to Doris Downes Jenkins

  1. Mike Austin says:

    My Mother was a loving lady who raised five children by herself; when others encouraged her to give us away and promised if she did she would be set for life among Washington’s socialites, she made the decision to do whatever it took to keep us together. She kept a roof over our heads, kept us fed and clothed, made sure we all got educations that allowed us to become independent and self sufficient. She worked multiple jobs, she went without things she wanted herself so that we might have whatever we needed. We were poor but we did not know it. She gave of herself to Washington’s military population, volunteering for many years helping the enlisted community during some of the toughest times in history. She visited soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital and Bethesda Naval Medical Center during and following the Vietnam war. Her husband and all four sons have worn the uniform of America’s military serving the country she loved so. She will be missed but never forgotten. She looked forward to the day she would join her husband in the hallowed ground at Arlington National Cemetery. Rest In Peace Mom.

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