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William Jahnigen

JAHNIGEN, WILLIAM R. (JAKE) died May 9, 2014 in Melbourne , FL. He was born March 16, 1927 to William F. and Florence Jahnigen in Elkridge, MD. He grew up in Elkridge and attended St. Augustine's Parochial School before enlisting in the Marine Corps at age 15 during WWII. After WWII, he became a carpenter and worked out of Local 101 on many projects including the Harundale Mall and the first Bay Bridge, where he was introduced to commercial diving. He became a diver's tender on that project. His love of the water and marine construction took over, and prompted him and a friend, George Adkins to start a marine construction company, "JACO", J for Jahnigen, A for Adkins and CO for company. The partnership did not last, but the name stuck, and he was known as "JACO" and later in life as "Jake." Many of the piers and bulkheads that he built are still in use in Anne Arundel County. In 1963, he and his wife Valgene (later divorced) moved to Anne Arundel County and purchased a small marina on the Magothy, known as "Jacove." He rebuilt it with great pride and sold it in 1975. In the 1980's he met and married Dannielle Marsh and they continued in the marine construction business until moving to Florida in 1993. He continued to work on and off in the construction business until he was seriously injured at age 73 in a work related accident, and retired. He loved marine construction, equipment, fishing and always the "water". He possessed a unique laugh, (known affectionately as the Jahnigen machine gun rattle), and had a very "colorful" personality that others either completely loved or avoided. He took great pride in having been a US Marine, a Mason, formerly of the Odenton lodge, and of his five children. He worked hard, played hard, and very sadly his love of life made death very hard for him to accept. He gave it a good fight, may his soul rest in peace. He is survived by his loving wife, Dannielle,(Melbourne FL) her daughter Shelley Eades (Westminster), his four sons, William T., Timothy J., Patrick F. (All Anne Arundel County), Michael R. (Ocean View, DE)., and his daughter, Sharron Geisler (also of Anne Arundel County), 17 grandchildren and 20 great- grandchildren, and faithful nephew Phillp (BJ) Jahnigen. Burial is private; condolences may be expressed online at hardestyfuneralhome.com. His wishes to any that want to pay tribute, would be to spend a day on the water, fishing; or go have a nice dinner, talk and laugh and toast a man who lived life on his own terms.
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Published in the Maryland Gazette on May 14, 2014
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