Theresa Lee Jenkins
Sept. 3, 1964 - Aug. 27, 2019
Devoted wife and mother Theresa Jenkins, age 54, passed away of esophageal cancer surrounded by her family at her home in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Theresa was born on Sept. 3, 1964 in Bangkok,Thailand to Velia Jenkins, who is Thai, and US veteran William Markle. After leaving Thailand and moving between the United States and Germany for many years, her family settled in Ft. Hood, Texas. Theresa graduated from Copperas Cove High School and St. Edward's University.
Theresa had many passions. She loved music, especially R&B, and enjoyed nights out Salsa dancing with her husband Cris Ramirez. Theresa and Cris loved trips to tropical beach destinations and experienced many adventures together over the years. Her greatest passion of all, however, was spending time with her loving family. Theresa is survived by her husband, Cristobal Ramirez, daughters Jacqueline Mackey (husband Steven) and Marina Munoz, mother Velia Jenkins (husband Dale Landroche), father William Markle, brother Russell Jenkins, Jr., stepchildren Liza Bobé (husband Brian and daughter Sophia) and Chris Davis Ramirez and other extended family members. She is preceded in death by her stepfather Russell Jenkins, Sr.
From the beginning, Theresa knew she wanted to be part of something big. With grit and determination, she opened up the phone book and called the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and wound up with a job as a part-time receptionist. Her career at the Chamber expanded and she ultimately became involved in marketing the city's economic development with high-profile events.
Theresa also worked for the Texas Film Commission under Governor Ann Richards and later formed her own event marketing company, which produced a Salsa Music Festival at Waterloo Park in the late '90s, that continued for several years.
In 2004, Theresa began her 15-year tenure with the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy. Originally hired as Project Manager, she was promoted to Executive Director within a year and, at the time of her death, held the position of Senior Executive Director. Theresa was said to have been the heart and soul of the Texas Chapter. Under her leadership, the chapter became a more diverse, dynamic and inclusive music community representing all genres of music. She was a tireless advocate for countless musicians and members of the music industry and loved to mentor, especially to college students who wished to start a career in the music business.
An intimate Celebration of Life is scheduled on Sept. 15 for family and close friends by invitation only. Donations can be made in Theresa's honor to MusiCares, the Recording Academy's charity that provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need, at : https://www.grammy.com/musicares/donations