Alycia Michelle Jenkins died June 29 at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.
Alycia was born May 2, 1995, to Rich and Renae Jenkins. Even as a baby, she did everything big … a loud belly laugh when she was only three months at the family dog, Bear … walking at nine months and running soon after … and a big love for horses at a very young age. When she got her first pair of chinks at age two, she immediately went to her rocking horse and began spurring in true cowgirl fashion. She seemed to be born for growing up on a ranch and loved every aspect of it.
Nothing was more important to Alycia than her family and friends. As a tiny girl, she became a shadow to her daddy. She adored her mother who imparted her work ethic and integrity. She could not have been a better big sister as she encouraged and inspired Corey and Elizabeth. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandparents on both sides as well as with her aunts and uncles and many cousins that she loved. She knew the meaning of friendship and loyalty and had the capacity to love people of all ages.
If you look up “overachiever” in the dictionary you should see a picture of Alycia. When she was 5 years old, Diamond did not have organized preschool, but instead, packets were sent out to all the little ones once a month. Alycia had hers done the first day it came in the mail.
Her passion for basketball started when she was in kindergarten and she took part in every activity available to her at Diamond Elementary where she attended kindergarten through eighth grade. She was a talented artist and loved drawing. She worked very hard to have perfect pictures and would scold Corey if his weren’t as good as she thought they should be and often spent time erasing for him so he could start over. If there was a baby calf brought to the barn, you can be sure that it had a fresh bed of hay and the best care that Alycia could offer. She was quick to help with all ranch jobs including operating the hay baler, the 2 a.m. heifer check, turning out cows on the mountains and branding. She never turned down an opportunity to hunt or fish.
She started 4-H at age 9 and did a breeding project with a red angus heifer. She diligently studied the EPDs in order to get the best offspring. Her hard work to improve and increase her herd won her the futurity belt buckle a few years later. Even in these early years, she recognized the importance of good breeding in order to improve the cattle industry. She won a national red angus contest and was awarded the traveling cow and spent a lot of time and energy poring over the bull books to get the “best.” She also did 4-H leather and photography and loved going to summer camp.
When Alycia went to Crane Union High School, she landed like a whirlwind with action, enthusiasm, an incredible work ethic and a touch of humor, which was always lurking, waiting for the perfect moment to emerge! Alycia loved to laugh. She had a hearty laugh, but even more than laughing, she loved to make other people laugh.
Living life to the fullest, she participated in a sport each season, and she looked for opportunities every summer to be involved in sports camps to gain and perfect skills so she could be a better asset to her team. She participated at these camps with the same intensity that she had when she competed. Some of Alycia’s accomplishments include the MVP of the camp, the best ball handler award, and the spirit and agility award, and she was named to be on the All Star Team. Her most prestigious award was the Golden Ruler at an NBC basketball camp. It is given to less than 1 percent of all participants. It is their most distinguished accomplishment because there are high standards that must be met.
She hit the Mustang courts with her usual intensity and competitiveness and it earned her spots on the varsity teams as a freshman. By her sophomore year in volleyball, her coach was given many warnings because of the intense encouragement of her teammates by Alycia. Her fans still talk about the last game in the 2011 state championship tournament when Crane was playing for third. She came off the bench and literally “stole” the game. Her “never give up” attitude served the Mustangs well, as her hard play helped earn them the third-place trophy. Alycia was awarded “Player of the Game” for her efforts. How she played and practiced was contagious to those around her; she pushed her teammates to be the best they could be. Performing less than best was likely to result in an “Alycia” lecture. According to her friends it was always done in a positive way for the right reason.
Alycia participated in track her freshman year and won three medals at the Oregon State Championship meet after winning three events at the district meet. At state, she was on the winning 4×400 relay, was third in the 800 meters and second in the 1,500 meters. When you look through the journals she kept, you realize that the team was more important than her own accomplishments. She knew she had to run better than she ever had before in order to contribute enough points for the Mustangs to get the State Championship trophy. Just like all the other sports, she had a huge heart and will to win and knew that to win, it was preparation that made the difference.
Her sophomore year, she decided to compete in rodeo instead of doing track again. Many could not understand why she would walk away from a sport that she excelled in and start something else. But Alycia had a strong sense of who she was. Trying new things with no fear and being strong willed enough to not be influenced by what others thought came naturally to her. She started with a horse she borrowed from her best friend, Paige, but it wasn’t long until she had researched and found Swifty to buy for her own. She competed in breakaway roping, goat tying, pole bending and barrel racing. Alycia attacked rodeo the same as she did all other sports. She saw other competitors bail off their horses at a full run to tie a goat; Alycia knew that’s what she had to do and she did. She did face plants many times getting off at this speed. At one rodeo, she pulled the ligaments in her ankle, but “quit” wasn’t in her vocabulary so she taped her swollen ankle over her boot so she could finish her other events. Besides the dedication and hard work, there were miles and miles of giggles on the road with Paige. There were giggles up until she stepped up in the saddle to compete … then it became serious business. She hadn’t become the best, yet, but there is no doubt she would have worked hard enough to achieve that.
Alycia did so much in her 17 years … more than many do in 80. She will be remembered for that big smile she would flash just before she would greet you with her famous hug, as well as that incredible sense of humor that took people by surprise. She touched so many people in such a positive way.
Alycia Michelle Jenkins was preceded in death by her grandmother, Allene Dunn.
She is survived by her parents, Rich and Renae Jenkins; brother, Corey Jenkins; sister, Elizabeth Jenkins; grandparents, Larry Dunn and Dick and Pat Jenkins; aunts and uncles, Mark Dunn, Brett and Shelly Dunn, Bryan and Ronita Dunn, Karen Dunn and Zina Jenkins; cousins, Amy, Morgan and Mason MacRostie, Erin Dunn, Craig Dunn, Mark Dunn, Jennifer and Jon Dancer, Bryanna and Jacob Dunn; and numerous great aunts and uncles.