Loretta Bell (Woods) Jenkins, 96 years-old, went to heaven early Thursday morning, November 21, 2019 at Golden Living Center – Woodlands, Newburgh, Indiana. Loretta was born August 21, 1923 in Richmond, Indiana. Her parents were Albert and Hazel Woods. She said she was a scrawny little thing. Her own grandmother said she wouldn’t live very long. See how that turned out!

She was an only child. Her mother was a kind and gentle woman, who Loretta preferred to call “Hazelnut” instead of ‘Mom.’ Loretta’s mother died at a young age, and her father, Albert, later married Tressie, whom Loretta adored. Loretta had a warm and loving childhood. Her mother started taking her to the First Christian Church at two years of age. Her mother was very active in church activities; thus, Loretta was provided books to read while waiting the many hours. To the day she died, Loretta loved reading books, especially mystery novels.

At 19 years of age, Loretta began working as a telephone switchboard operator in Richmond. She later transferred to Dayton, Ohio where she met her husband-to-be, Jim Jenkins. They were married June 29, 1947, and she transferred to Indianapolis. There she worked for Indiana Bell. They rejoiced at the birth of two sons: David (1951) and Dale (1953).

Loretta and Jim were divorced, leaving Loretta to fend for herself. She worked for Insurance Services Office in Indianapolis for 27 years as a switchboard operator and receptionist. After retiring in 1983, she moved to Evansville to be near her son, David. Shortly after she moved, she became a member of Garvinwood General Baptist Church, where she sang in the choir, played the keyboard in Wednesday prayer meetings, participated in the Solid Rock Seniors, and attended the U-Need-Us Sunday School Class until she became too ill to attend. Loretta had a longtime cat companion, Angel, whom she loved dearly. But, Loretta, knowing she was facing knee-replacement, had her ailing Angel “put to sleep.” Loretta faced this time with grace, courage, and great trust in God, just as she did as she continued to lose the ability to walk.

Loretta’s was preceded in death by her parents, step-mother, and son David, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1997.

Loretta is survived by her son Dale and wife Lynn, of Charleston, WV. He recently retired from the United States Postal Service. She is also survived by a longtime friend and caregiver, Pat Boyer (Jack) of Newburgh, IN.

A celebration of Loretta’s life will be held at 4:00 PM on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Browning Funeral Home, 738 Diamond Ave., Evansville, IN 47711, with Pastor Johnny Hibbs officiating.

Friends may visit from 2:00 PM until service time on Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Garvinwood General Baptist Church, 19 N Englewood Ave., Evansville, IN 47711.

Condolences may be made online at www.browningfuneral.com.