Hundreds filled the Port St. Joe High School Gymnasium during the funeral of Travis “TJ” Jenkins Jr. [ Wendy Weitzel | The Star ]

Hundreds attend funerals of teenagers killed in car accident

Hundreds of family, friends, classmates, neighbors and community members gathered Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to two young members of the community who were tragically killed in a single-car accident six days prior.

Travis “TJ” Jenkins Jr., 18, and Andrew Sheppard, 16, were remembered for their kindness and leadership.

Jenkins, 18, would have been entering his senior year at Port St. Joe High School in August. He is remembered not only as a stellar athlete, but as a leader within his teams and his school and a young man deeply dedicated to his faith and to his family.

Sheppard, 16, would have been entering his junior year this fall, and his coaches say he was expected to take on leadership roles on his teams in the upcoming seasons.

Those who knew him described Sheppard as being a hard worker, dedicated to his family and to his friends. He was a member of both the school’s football and weightlifting teams and was known for his reserved but kind demeanor and his friendly smile.

The funerals, which were held four hours apart, both in the Port St. Joe High School Gymnasium drew hundreds of mourners dressed in school colors. Teammates of the boys wore their jerseys and many wore “Tiger Shark Strong” T-shirts, which were sold to raise funds for the boys’ families.

Members of Port St. Joe’s football team say their goodbyes to their teammate Andrew Sheppard during his funeral Saturday. [ Wendy Weitzel | The Star ]

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.