John W. Jenks, 91, Leechburg, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at West Haven Manor.
He was born July 18, 1920, in Yatesboro, a son of Eugene H. and Sara (Evans) Jenks.
In 1937, at the age of 16, Mr. Jenks graduated from Punxsutawney High School as his class’ valedictorian and, four years later, graduated as valedictorian of his class at Penn State University, where he also earned the rare honor of being an industrial engineer inductee into Phi Beta Kappa.
During World War II, Mr. Jenks served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy and, in 1945, began his career at United States Steel. Rising through the ranks from industrial engineer to superintendent of the Rolling Mills (Vandergrift) to plant superintendent (Vandergrift), he ended his career as a consultant for the international division of USS.
April 26, 1974, the Vandergrift Chamber of Commerce hosted an Industrial Recognition Banquet to honor Mr. Jenks as “a man recognized internationally as an authority on silicon steel production and locally as an adopted son, sincerely dedicated to the well being of our community.”
Mr. Jenks was district chairman of the Moraine Trail Council River Valley District of the Boy Scouts of America and served on the council’s executive board and board of directors. He was a director of the Westmoreland unit of the Pennsylvania Economy League and of the Kiski Valley United Fund. In his younger years, he was an active Republican and was always an avid Pirates and Steelers fan.
Survivors include his daughter, Sherry, of Leechburg; his sister, Dorothy, of Punxsutawney; his sister-in-law, Marie, of Punxsutawney; and nieces and nephews on both the Jenks and Miller sides of the family.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Jean (Miller) Jenks; and his brother, Richard.
Friends will be received from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at the Vandergrift Presbyterian Church, 195 Washington Ave., Vandergrift.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, at the church with the Rev. Neal Galley officiating.
Burial will be private.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Curran Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., Leechburg.
Memorial contributions may be made to the family or to the charity of your choice in Mr. Jenks' memory.