by Jane Zimmerman, Treemont Resident
He was BOI (born on Galveston Island) - she was born in the north Duluth, Minnesota. On the surface, they couldn’t be more different. He is aesthetically inclined, while she is athletically inclined. He taught art, she taught gym classes. But when you delve deeper, you find that they go together like bread and butter. Their talents complement one another: he paints portraits; she takes the photographs from which he paints them. It’s no wonder that Fred and Marion Jinkins have been happily married for 55 years!
In 1939 Fred's family was transferred to the Panama Canal. During WWII they moved every 14 months – to Key West, Florida, Washington D.C., Ft. Myers, and a variety of other military bases. Fred's mothers' husband was a West Point graduate and thus served in the service during WWII. Fred returned to Galveston in 1948-1955 after the war and worked for a shipping company. After that he went into real estate, then into printing, and opened a restaurant before answering his life's calling, which was teaching art. Fred started painting when he was 5 years old. He has never been to art school; he is a natural and has taught many classes, especially to seniors. He taught at Fontenot Senior Free Learning Center and other free programs at the Alzheimer's Center.
Marion was 33 and teaching gym classes when she married Fred – teaching during the day and riding the bus with students at night after the games. She said that people still walk up to her and say, "Are you Mrs. Jinkins?" She was dedicated to the students at Burbank Junior High School in north Houston. Before that her father worked for Champion Paper & Fiber Company in Houston. He took the family to New York because he loved New York and to travel by plane. He loved to fly so much, he went to New York several times a year after that. After he died, her mother took her to Guatemala.
Fred and Marion moved to Treemont after Hurricane Harvey (but don’t worry, they weren’t flooded, it was just coincidental timing). They lived in Sharpstown before, and right now they are trying to decide whether to move back to their home there or stay here at Treemont. Fred wants to continue to paint portraits here – not for money, but for the pleasure. He has already done several – Treemont pianist Richard Shanks (in above photo), Linda and Mark from the administrative office, Jobert, Physical Therapist, and our famous resident gardener, Paula Jageman, in her garden outside of A building. Both Fred and Marion are involved in other activities as well, like Creative Writing, weekly entertainment, and our monthly themed parties. Fred even helped Nikki organize the recent ‘Painting with a Twist’ program, which encouraged residents to get creative while sipping wine or champagne and enjoying classical music. They are planning another Painting with a Twist program for August, though this time Fred has offered to lend step-by-step painting instruction as well, to encourage new painters to develop their skill.
The Jinkins are keen to make friends and are looking for people who share their interests. Fred asked that anyone interested in art, please introduce themselves! He would love to meet and talk to other artists. Fred studied art history and has bubbling knowledge of classical art. He loves Van Gogh and Matisse, and is full of fun facts about them. Did you know that when Matisse could no longer hold a brush anymore he pasted pieces of paper on the canvas? Fascinating info! Not only that, Matisse and Fred have the same birthday – December 31st.
The Jinkins both say they love it here - it feels like "home." Let's hope Marion and Fred are keepers here at the Treemont senior living, and help them to settle in by introducing ourselves to this lovely couple!
If you enjoyed meeting your Houston assisted living neighbor, then click here to meet more residents of this dynamic independent living in Houston community. There is much documentation on the value of social interaction and friendships in keeping seniors happy and content. Active Activities Programs are key to resident happiness in senior living in Houston communities. Seniors want to live with interesting and engaging residents. At Treemont, from concert pianist Ann Wang, to Nelda Sims of the Sims Trio and also Wilma Carr and Lillian Lee, residents enjoy in-house entertainment, and meeting new neighbors with whom to engage and share their new community. Please make sure you ask about the residents and the activities for seniors programs when you tour senior living Houston TX communities.