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Lifestyle

February 26, 2014

Jan Junkins plans to use Ms. Senior Cullman County title to share her faith

For Jan Junkin, being crowned Ms. Senior Cullman County was a first. “I’d never done anything like this before,” said the Good Hope resident. “I told God that if it was His will, then I would use the platform he gave me to tell people about Him. He not only gave me a platform, but a year of them.”

Junkin, who once wrote an advice column for a Center Point newspaper, called Junk 'N Jingle, read a poem she penned titled simply, “Mother,” as her talent segment in the pageant.

True to her word, she brings God up frequently in her daily life. “If everyone centers their life on God they will find life much easier to handle,” said Junkin. “And if they bring up their children in His word, then when they are old, they will not depart from it.”

Junkin was married to Thomas Junkin for 49 years. Widowed in 2006, she has three children, phenomenal in-laws, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, of whom she is exceedingly proud. Almost all of them work in some capacity in the church, preaching, singing, teaching classes and volunteering. Junkin herself is a member of Good Hope Baptist Church, where she sings with the adult choir, is the prayer team leader, and makes costumes for theatrical programs.

After retiring from the medical field where she spent 50 years, 27 of which she held the position of Administrative Support Specialist, Junkin looks back over that span of time and marvels at the advancement of medical science. She saw a great deal of that take place at the University of Alabama Medical Center where she was part of the first  support team for the medical personnel who did transplants, angioplasties, put in some of the first stints and other modern life-saving techniques. “I saw a lot of “first’s” during that time,” she said.

After retirement, Junkin didn’t sit around. She got busy in her community, volunteering to bring in new businesses and helping to start a new Senior Center in Good Hope, where she was historian for two years.

Among her other accomplishments, she is the author of a book published in 2011, titled, “Let Me Tell You About my Grandpa”, which includes family history and stories, poetry, and vintage photographs of her family. She is a member of the Alabama Retired Educators Association, and the UAB Retiree’s Association.  The Ms. Senior Cullman County title will give her a chance to help others, to keep her promise to God, and to share life lessons.

“When they called out the first and second runner’s up, I looked around to see which of the others would win,” she laughed. “Then, when they called out my name, I thought my chin would hit the floor and my eyebrows would hit the ceiling!”

Junkin says that she feels overwhelmingly humbled and honored to wear the title this year. As she waited for the Master of Ceremonies to finish talking, she spontaneously broke out in a dance of joy. “I love to dance,” she explained. “I thought that as long as I was standing there, I might as well entertain the audience because this might be my only chance to do something like that.”

She will carry out the duties of Ms. Senior Cullman County for the upcoming year, doing some public speaking, and doing whatever she can to advance the cause of senior citizens everywhere.

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