Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Many in the Lakeland community will be remembering former Publix Super Markets CEO/Chairman Charles H. Jenkins, Sr., who died this morning of natrual causes at Lakeland Regional Medical Center at the age of 90.

"Mister Charlie", as he was often known, was the brother of Publix founder George Jenkins. His son, Charles, Jr., is the current CEO of the supermarket chain.

The Jenkins family is well known throughout Lakeland and Polk County for their longstanding support of a variety of organizations, including Florida Southern College and the United Way of Central Florida.

Here's a fellow who, literally, learned the business from the bottom level up. Jenkins began as a stock clerk at one of the company's stores in Lake Wales in 1946 after serving during World War II in the Army Air Corps. He was elected to the Publix board of directors seven years later, becoming vice president/general manager in 1953, and followed his brother as company president in 1972. He served as chairman from 1973 until 1985, and remained on the board of directors for another eleven years afterward.

Jenkins is survived by his son, daughter, and three grandchildren. His funeral will be held Friday at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland.


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