William “Darnell” Jenkins passed away at home April 16, 2023 surrounded by family.


William Darnell Jenkins, known as Donnie, D, WillFixIt, Big Will, and Coach Will, was born on September 5, 1953, to the loving parents of Nathaniel and Ethel Wilson Jenkins of Tacoma, WA.

William grew up in Tacoma, WA, and attended Seward Elementary and Stewart Middle School.  In 1969 the family moved to Rockford, IL, and he graduated from West High School in 1972.

William accepted Christ at an early age under the leadership of Bishop EF Morris at God’s Pentecostal Church.  After moving to Rockford, IL he became a member of Saint Paul Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Dr. James Washington. After returning to Tacoma, WA he joined the New Covenant Pentecostal Church, under the leadership of Dr. Edna Travis.

William was taught as a young man to work hard, and he had a strong work ethic. Some of his earlier jobs included picking beans at Raders Farm in Puyallup, WA, Jenkins & Sons (a family-owned business), Kenny’s Shoe Store, Walkins Products, and Fuller Brush Products.

He would later establish his own business and was affectionately called “WillFixIt” for his kindness and generosity in helping others. If you had an odd job, William was your man! He also had his own t-shirt business, BMW – Black Men Working, while working at Boeing Company as a Grade 8 inspector. He worked there 33 years until her retired in 2017.

William was also a sport enthusiast. In his youth he was a track and basketball star, and in 1970 he broke the record for the low hurdles at the Illinois State Track meet in Urbana, IL. He was always bragging about his accolades and frequently referenced his special box. In this box were his trophies, newspaper articles, and pictures of his triumphs. This enthusiasm carried over into his support of his sons and grandchildren, as he regularly attended their sporting and cheer events. Even while battling his illness, he continued to show his support for his grandchildren by being present at their events. His greatest celebration was when both of his sons graduated from college!

William was an entrepreneur at heart and enjoyed attending many of the local festivals. Many of us felt William should have added “comic” to his resume. We were convinced he should take his act on the road because he kept EVERYBODY laughing. He loved to travel, especially to Las Vegas (LOL), and would attend sports betting and attending jazz concerts. He liked being in Vegas on Super Bowl Sundays. He also enjoyed discussing politics and current events.

William passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 16, 2023, surrounded by his loved ones. William was preceded in death by his father and mother Nathan and Ethel Wilson Jenkins. Those left to cherish his memory are his sons Kyle Jenkins (Danielle) Milton, WA; William Messiah Jenkins, Seattle, WA; grandson Jaylon Jenkins and granddaughters Brooklyne and Caleigh Jenkins. His siblings Jerry Nathan Jenkins, Auburn, WA; sisters Ethel Lorraine Alexander (Alabama); and Edna Darlene Jenkins (Georgia).His companion and lifelong friend, Najmah Messiah, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Visitation | 3-6pm Thursday April 20, 2023. Peace Haven Chapel 7714 Douglas St. West Lakewood, WA 98499

Funeral | 11am, Friday April 21, 2023. Holy Temple Evangelistic Center 12600 Renton Ave S Seattle WA 98178

  1. Prentis Johnson says:

    We are saddened to hear of the transition of my friend Darnell. We send our prayers of comfort to the family in this time of bereavement. Please let us know how we can support the family.

  2. Larry Andren says:

    My condolences to the entire Jenkins family. We grew up in the same neighborhood, on 40th. The Jenkins were up the hill from our house. We played baseball almost everyday. Jerry, and Darnell were good friends growing up. There mother was a wonderful person, she had an agreement with my mother, if the kids are out of line thump um! Great memories, our family, brothers Jack, Tom, sister Susan and Peggy are sorry for your loss. May God comfort and keep you all. The Andren family!

  3. Janice Wheeler says:

    My friend William, you were a class act. You brought in your wonderful soul and spirit everywhere you went.
    We had some really good laughs and enjoyed good food.
    Although way too short, I feel privileged to have had you in my life. Thank you for being my advisor and friend. Your loss is so profound in my life. I will miss you tremendously.

  4. Dennis Starnes says:

    I knew him as “Darnell.” We played basketball together at West High School in Rockford, IL. I was always a little mad at him because he beat out as pt. Guard on the BB team. But he was a friend of mine and someone I greatly respected. I’ve thought of him often over the years. RIP, my friend

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