Jean Carolyn Reese Jenkins

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Jean Carolyn Reese Jenkins, 83, died Tuesday, January 19, 2010, in Orem, Utah, from complications of knee replacement surgery.

Early Life and Education

Jean was born August 3, 1926, in Milford, Utah, the youngest child and only daughter of David and Bessie Johnson Reese. Several years later the family moved to Provo; though she grew up during the Depression and through a world war, she remembered her childhood as being carefree and happy.

Jean completed school and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1947. Eventually, she earned two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree, and a law degree with specialties ranging from speech communications and theatre to botany and ancient oratory. During two sabbatical leaves, she studied at the University of Utah and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.


During her thirty-three years teaching speech communications and theatre and cinematic arts at Brigham Young University, Jean directed and starred in countless plays. One of her best-remembered roles was that of Queen Elizabeth. Several of those who were taught by Jean have spoken of the profound impact she had on their lives. Jean also made many friends among her colleagues during her time as a teacher at BYU.

Jean also starred in several plays at the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City and was well-known for her mono-acts, in which she performed all the parts of plays like A Raisin in the Sun, A Majority of One, and The Barretts of Wimpole Street. She also starred in films for the LDS Church and appeared in the movie Lilies of the Valley. She was well-known as a skilled dialect coach.

Jean was an accomplished poet, and served as president of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She was active in a number of clubs and societies. She had a stunning tenor voice and sang for decades with "The Four Forties," a prize-winning quartet that included three of her best friends.

Personal Life

As World War II drew to a close, Jean married Earl Jones; they were later divorced. While working as an administrative assistant at Geneva Steel, she met and fell in love with Glen L. Jenkins; they were married April 6, 1952. Glen died in 1963, and she has missed him deeply.

She loved to travel throughout the world absorbing the local dialects.

Jean was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in the Relief Society for much of her life.

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