With profound sorrow we announce the passing of Cheryl Jenkins who departed this life August 31, 2021 in Florence.
A celebration of life will be held Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 1pm at the Berea Baptist Convention Center.
The service will be live streamed on the Bethea Funeral Home LLC Facebook page.
On March 6, 1973, Deloris Jenkins and John Brunson welcomed a beautiful bouncing baby girl into the world. They lovingly named her Cheryl Antoinette Jenkins.
At an early age, Cheryl began her life-long journey in the Christian faith. She was a devoted member who served at Straightway Church of God in Christ in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. While there, she was blessed to develop a special parental relationship with Cathryn and Michael Whetstone, who loved her as their own.
Like her grandmother Addie instilled in her, Cheryl always found “work for [her] hands to do,” and she did it all unto the Lord. Cheryl’s intelligence, studious, loving, effervescent, charismatic, and nurturing personality were evident from her youth. Educated in New York City’s Public School System, Cheryl excelled in her studies, even learning to be conversant in Spanish at a young age. Her tenacious and ambitious spirit consistently earned her a place on the Honor Roll. And at the tender age of fourteen, Cheryl took her very first paying job, serving as a librarian’s assistant at the East Flatbush Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Simultaneously, she continued her service at her church home directing the choir, being a lead soloist, and working with the youth. She took accelerated classes throughout her high school career and earned her diploma from South Shore High School in 1991.
As a young adult, Cheryl worked as an I.T. Specialist. During that time, she began attending Christ Tabernacle in Glendale, New York, where she and her two small children, whom she doted on, became treasured members of that community of faith. But in 2002, seeking more opportunities for her children and to be closer to her mother and grandmother Addie, Cheryl relocated to Bennettsville, South Carolina. There, she joined Cedar Fall Missionary Baptist Church.
While at Cedar Fall, Cheryl lent her beautiful voice to sing praises to the Lord as a member of the W. C. Graham choir. She was also a highly esteemed role model to the children of the W.C. Graham Inspirational choir. Further, Cheryl orchestrated numerous events and programs for the youth of the church and in her broader community.
Indeed, Cheryl was a lovable person who everyone wanted to be around. She had a unique and amazing gift of making everyone she encountered feel like they were the most important, capable, and loved person. And she consistently modeled the determination, drive, compassion, and commitment she sought to instill in others with her unapparelled ability to balance the demands of family, academics, community, and work with grace, dignity, and the most infectious smile.
Ever the life-long learner, scholar, and teacher, Cheryl earned multiple degrees. She received her associate degree in Science from Northeastern Technical College, and a nursing degree, an associate’s degree in Health Science from Florence-Darlington Technical College. In pursuing her life’s call of nursing and caretaking, Cheryl continued her education at Francis Marion University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Cheryl had an impeccable work ethic. And for the last fourteen years, she joyfully served as a nurse at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina. As a veteran nurse, Cheryl was a trusted, sincere, and faithful colleague and mentor who inspired her fellow nurses and numerous aspiring nurses -- she was always happy to share her wisdom and knowledge with others, inspiring them to be their absolute best. Her medical acumen, positive and light-hearted spirit, impeccable moral character and integrity, and meticulous attention to detail were awarded when she was elevated to a position as a Patient Care Supervisor on the surgical floor six years ago.
And as a true testament of her superior intellect, unsurprisingly, during this global pandemic, Cheryl earned her final degree, Master of Science in Nursing from Francis Marion University. She graduated with a 3.98 grade point average, and was to become a Nurse Educator, teaching the next generation of nurses this fall.
Although she amassed many earthly accolades, Cheryl was most honored and concerned with being a child of God who let her light shine as “a good person.” Indeed, she was a phenomenal person who encouraged others to be the same. She was known for her encouraging words and mantras, like “Mildew or barbecue,” meaning you can decide what impression you leave with people – a good or bad one.
Tellingly, Cheryl has left an indelible imprint of love on countless lives. She was a loving partner, daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, godmother, and friend. And she served as a mother figure to so many in her community, always providing wise counsel, delicious homecooked meals, styled and braided hair, and a laugh for her loved ones. She enjoyed event planning and organized a plethora of celebrations to mark the accomplishments and milestones of her community.
On August 31, 2021, God called his faithful servant home to take her rest.
Cheryl joins her firstborn daughter Davondra Street, grandparents Edward and Addie Jenkins, William and Edith Mae Brunson, uncle Luther Jenkins, and aunt Brenda Burks Jenkins, who preceded her in death.
She leaves to mourn her physical absence and celebrate her life in loving memories, her devoted fiancé, Darren Brown; children: Johvaughn and Khejahnah Jenkins, Darsheem Brown, Jayden Thames, Dominique Head, and Jamal Stanton; and granddaughters: Chyna Stanton and Doris Head. Her parents: Deloris Jenkins Brown and Larry Brown, John and Patricia Brunson, Cathryn Whetstone, and Michael Whetstone & Phyllis Knight-Whetstone; siblings: LaKeisha Brunson, Olivia Brown, Edwina & Neil Lissone, Kayonia & Christopher Prescott, John Whetstone, Melissa Whetstone, and Gabrielle Whetstone-Bridges & Ramell Bridges. Four very special uncles: Gary & Zonnia Jenkins, William & Shirley Jenkins, Walter Jenkins, and Ray Charles Williams. A very special aunt, Madie Jenkins, Annette Jenkins, Plumella Williams, and Donella Williams. And a host of nieces and nephews: My’Angel Timmons, Naijah Whetstone, and Caleb & Mecah Lissone, Naomi & Christopher Matthew Prescott, Ti’Shaun & Kaira Whetstone, Ji’Daun David Johnson, and Jaylene & Jonathan Carrasquillo, Journey Kennedy, and Nathaniel & Cassidy Bridges; a host of godchildren, relatives, friends, and work-family. And her lifelong best friend, Tamicka Dunn.
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