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John K. Gingrich

John K. "Jack" Gingrich departed from this earthly life on Saturday, June 15th at the Shook Home in Chambersburg. Born November, 19, 1926, in Chambersburg, he was a son of the late Raymond L. and Esther (Kendall) Gingrich. Jack grew up on a farm on Renninger Road and graduated from Lemasters High School in May 1944. Reporting for duty with the Army Air Corps in April of that year, he served in supply assignments through his discharge in October 1946. Following his return from wartime service, Jack attended California Teachers College in California, Pennsylvania. A 1951 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Jack received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Air Force from the ROTC program in June of that year. He was called to active duty that fall immediately following graduation, and was assigned to Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. Continuing his education at the University of Illinois concurrent with his military service, he earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial Arts from that institution in February 1954, following additional study at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul. Returning to Pennsylvania, Jack became one of the first faculty members of James Buchanan Junior-Senior High School in 1954. He taught Industrial Arts and Mechanical Drawing, moved to James Buchanan High School when it was built, and retired in 1989. In the fall of 1954 Jack became scoutmaster of Mercersburg Troop 28, Boy Scouts of America. Immensely dedicated to his scouts, and proud of his role as a leader, he remained actively engaged in that position for 16 years. Subsequently, he served as Assistant Troop Committee Chairman, Chairman, and Advancement Coordinator through his retirement from Scouting in February 2005. During this time, be earned his Wood Badge, and in 1961, was awarded the Silver Beaver Award for significant accomplishment as an adult leader. His was a driving force contributing to the character and development of many young men in the community. During this time, Jack remained active in the Air Force Reserve, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before his retirement from the service in May of 1979. On June 20, 1959 he married Evelyn Hollaway, who survives. He is also survived by a daughter Deborah (Tommy) Tew and grandson Joseph Tew of Leland, North Carolina, as well as numerous devoted nephews and nieces, James Hollaway, Ruth Hollaway, John Hollaway, Lisa Welsh, Mark LaBrie, Kim LaBrie, Heidi Crawford and EmyAckernecht. Also among those surviving are sister-in-law, Mary Lou Gingrich, brother-in-law, James Hollaway, and a special cousin, Richard (Shirley) Gingrich. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, William Gingrich, and a nephew, Kirk Gingrich. Jack was a seventy-year member of the Presbyterian Church of the Upper West Conococheague in Mercersburg where he served as a trustee, ruling elder, Sunday School teacher, and leader of the Presbyterian Men. He was a member of Mt. Pisgah Lodge No. 443 F&AM of Greencastle and the National Sojourners. For his dedication to the youth of the Mercersburg community he received the Harriet Lane Award in 2004. Jack spent his final years performing woodworking and other projects, collecting antique tractors, and researching family history. Thirty-five years a teacher, fifty years a Scouter, man of character and involvement, his impact on this community has been enduring. Dedicated American patriot, community leader, teacher, Airman and military veteran, Jack lived the values of his generation. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013, at the Presbyterian Church, 34 West Seminary Street in Mercersburg with the Rev. Anthony D. Lorenz officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Fairview Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Thursday at Lininger-Fries Funeral Home in Mercersburg from 6 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jack's name to the Presbyterian Church, 34 West Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236.

Funeral Home

Lininger-Fries Funeral Home, Inc.
47 North Park Avenue Mercersburg, PA 17236
(717) 328-2812

Published in Public Opinion on June 19, 2013
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