Committal for Frederic Jenks – A memorial service will be held May 17 at 2 p.m. at the Brownsville Community Church, 66 Brownsville-Hartland Road, Brownsville, for Fred A. Jenks, who died April 1. All those who knew Fred are invited to attend this service celebrating his life.
BRUNSWICK, Maine — A memorial service will be held at the Brownsville Community Church in Vermont later in May for Frederic A. Jenks, 98, who died peacefully on April 1 at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine.
He was born in Lakewood, Ohio on May 31, 1915, son of Frederic A. Jenks, Sr. and Ada Alice Dunkerley.
He grew up in the Boston, Mass. area and graduated from The Roxbury Latin School in 1934. He went to M.I.T. in Cambridge, Mass. and took aeronautical and communications engineering, graduating with a BS in EE in 1938.
His first job right out of M.I.T. was with the National Union Radio Corporation in Newark, N.J. designing and building television picture tubes and their circuits. In 1939 he joined the Sperry Gyroscope Company where he developed aeronautical applications for klystron microwave tubes, in both California and Garden City, Long Island, N.Y. during World War II.
He married Helen E. Purinton of Leominster, Mass. in 1940, and they went to California so he could work at Sperry’s San Carlos Laboratory. While in California he took graduate courses in microwave engineering at Stanford University. In 1946 he joined the Raytheon Company in Waltham, Mass., and worked on guided missiles, aircraft radar, fighter cockpit design, aircraft instrumentation and automatic landing systems. He also was program manager for several major military contracts. From 1958 to 1966 he was also a consultant to the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, working with the Guidance and Control Panel on special satellites and navigation systems. He was a Life Member (Senior Grade) of the IEEE, a member of the ARRL, the AMSAT, and the QSARC. The IEEE is a professional engineering organization and the latter three are amateur radio organizations. He was an active amateur radio operator (W1GEI) since 1933.
He and his late wife, Helen, traveled extensively in Europe, the Caribbean, the United States, and Hawaii. He also visited Israel for three weeks in 1996. They lived in Palo Alto, Calif., Rockville Center, Long Island, N.Y. Dedham, Mass. and Wayland, Mass. before retiring to Brownsville in 1979. They also had a ski house in Brownsville from 1965 to 2012, near the Mt. Ascutney ski area. Also, in 1952 they bought a cottage on Bustins Island in Casco Bay, Maine that is used each summer by the family and their friends.
While living in Wayland, Mass., he was active in the Trinitarian Congregational Church, then after retirement he was active in the Brownsville Community Church of Brownsville, the Calvary Baptist Church of Claremont, N.H., where he was a Deacon, and at the Trinity Evangelical Free Church of Windsor, where he was an Elder. He was a Director of the West Windsor Historical Society, and was its President for two years. He set up, programmed, and maintained the first computer system in the Town of West Windsor that provided many services to the Town Clerk, Town Treasurer, the Auditors, Listers and others.
He is survived by three daughters: Darby E. Mumford and her husband, Warren W. of Bowdoin, Maine, Patricia L. Jenks and her spouse Joan A. Wright of Suffield, Conn. and Vicki S. Wells and her husband Michael J. of Oakville, Wash.; five grandchildren: Tracy Cerrato and her husband John, Stephanie Gauthier and her husband Joe, Kathi Dugal and her husband Matt, Ian Wells and his wife Mindy, and Jacob Wells and his wife Kahlua; three step-grandchildren: Bill Gullickson, Robert Wells, and Traci Wells; and by eight great-grandchildren: Joshua, Ben, Bethany and Brittany Gauthier, Emma, Lydia and James Dugal, and Alexia Wells.
His wife and best friend, Helen, died in 1986 of bone cancer.
Donations to the American Cancer Society or any cancer research organization of your choice, in lieu of flowers, would be appreciated.
Memorial condolences may be made at Direct Cremation of Maine (DirectCremationofMaine.com).
This obituary first appeared in the April 10, 2014 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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