Ventress “Vent” Earl Jenkins was born in Tarboro, North Carolina on August 23, 1952 to Lena and Charlie Glass. At the age of three the family moved to Washington, DC. Ventress attended DC Public Schools and graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. In elementary school Vent was a safety patrol, a Cub Scout, and a member of the Ruth K. Webb choir, where he had a featured role in the school’s sixth grade production of Pinocchio. Vent attended Browne Junior High School where he continued with his love of music and sang in the school choir. In high school, Vent was involved in several extra-curricular activities including the Dunbar High School Choir; the soccer team; the school newspaper, the Newsreel; the fundraising committee; and Liber Anni, the school yearbook.
In addition to Vent’s multiple extra-curricular activities, he worked as an intern in the federal government through a partnership between DC Public Schools and the DC government. Vent worked there until he graduated. After graduating high school, Vent continued his federal career at the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He later enjoyed a long career at AT&T, where he made many friends. Other employment included positions at Verizon, Whitman-Walker Health Clinic, CES Security, and Montgomery Village Nursing Home.
Vent began singing in church choirs as a young boy. Throughout his life he belonged to several churches around Washington, DC, including White Stone Baptist Church, Montello Avenue Baptist Church, Union Temple Baptist Church, and Bible Way Church. Vent was a member of Union Temple’s Young Adult Choir, where he also directed. He was a member of Union Temple’s Men’s Choir, the Children of the Father Gospel Group, the Bible Way Radio Choir, the Smallwood E. Williams Corral, and the Howard University Gospel Choir. Vent recorded with the Howard University Gospel Choir, the Union Temple Young Adult Choir, on the albums “Look Up and Live” and “Give Us Peace,” and with Dr. Pearl Williams-Jones. Vent was often a featured vocalist at weddings and funerals.
An avid basketball fan, Vent knew all the players and teams. He also enjoyed watching football. Vent made friends everywhere he went. Even in the hospital, the doctors and nurses frequently commented on his pleasant disposition while under the most challenging circumstances. His most treasured friendships were with Tony Langley, Maurice Ward and Gary Overton. Through Vent’s laughter and conversations, he always valued the friendship and relationships of his niece Sylvia Robinson-Tibbs and his cousin, Brenda Class.
Vent loved his family and leaves to cherish his memory his sister Brenda Wanzer, brother James “JC” Jenkins, nieces Sylvia Robinson-Tibbs, Kisheena Wanzer (Veronica), Karen Jenkins, Sheila Harley, Brenda Jenkins, Cindy Parker, Joy Royes, nephew Dwayne McClure (Allison), cousin Brenda Glass, and a host of great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, and friends. Vent was preceded in death by his parents Lena and Charlie Glass, sister Mary Shelton, brothers Lambert and Jesse Jenkins.
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