Fr. Floyd A. Jenkins, S.J. (1916-2002)
Former Professor of Biology at Loyola Marymount University
Rev. Floyd A. Jenkins, S.J., emeritus professor of biology at Loyola Marymount University, died peacefully in the Lord at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, August 21, 2002 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center's infirmary at Los Gatos, California.
Born in Los Angeles in 1916, Fr. Jenkins' family moved to northern California where he attended Catholic schools in Oakland and Berkeley, and then enrolled at the University of San Francisco for one year before entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Los Gatos in 1934. Much later in his life at his sixtieth jubilee as a Jesuit, he remembered that he had been strongly motivated by reading Benson's lives of the English Jesuit martyrs. Though he "did not wish to join the Jesuits on the torturing rack of Elizabethan times," he nonetheless felt strongly drawn to the Jesuit life.
He studied theology at the Jesuits' Alma College in Los Gatos, and after ordination in St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on June 12, 1948, he made his tertianship in Mexico followed by Final Vows in 1951. Having received his Ph.D. in biology, anatomy, and paleontology at St. Louis University (1954), he taught at the then-Loyola University and the later-titled Loyola Marymount University from 1953-1987. He edited the bulletin of the Southern California Paleontological Society and frequently lectured at the Page Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. His influence as a teacher and mentor is perhaps best illustrated by the devoted care given him during his recent years of failing health by twin sisters
who are medical doctors, Alice and Anita Agzarian. They had graduated first and second in their LMU class under Fr. Jenkins' tutelage before finishing at UCLA first and second in their class again! The Doctors Agzarian insisted on caringly driving him up to the Jesuit infirmary at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center for his last days in hospice care.
During his retirement Fr. Jenkins continued as a knowledgeable collector of fossils and stamps while also acting as curator of LMU's field course collections. As a resident philatelic expert, he has written three books on the stamps of the Papal States. His collection also highlights the members and accomplishments of the Society of Jesus. Father Jenkins liked to point out that 80 nations have so honored Jesuits or Jesuit buildings. At his sixtieth jubilee as a Jesuit in 1994, he expressed thanks "the solid education offered by dedicated Dominican Sisters and Christian Brothers, the care and concern of Jesuits, and for knowing many wonderful students and others in my 40 years of teaching at St. Louis
and at Loyola Marymount."
Fr. Jenkins died in Los Gatos, CA, on August 21, 2002, at the age of 86, a Jesuit for 68 years, and a priest for 54 years.