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Dr. John Evan Hench


1937 - 2019
Dr.  John Evan Hench Obituary
Dr. John Evan Hench
Resident of San Jose
Dr. John Evan Hench passed away on November 6, 2019. Born on March 13, 1937 in Seattle, Washington to parents John Francis Hench and Helen Sadie (Yaple) Hench. He was raised in the Puget Sound area until his sophomore year in high school, when the family moved from Bremerton, WA to Libby, Montana. John attended Libby High School, graduating in June of 1954. After high school, he received a music scholarship to Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He married Carmen Pondelick on June 21, 1958 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Libby. Upon graduation from Gonzaga, John was hired by General Electric and assigned to the National Reactor Testing Station in Idaho Falls, Idaho. John then had assignments in San Jose and Schenectady, NY, where he completed GE's A, B, and C engineering courses in 1962, after which he took up a position in the Nuclear Energy Division in San Jose.
While there, John was instrumental in the development of a theoretical understanding of a key heat transfer problem that served as an ongoing basis for the thermal design of GE's nuclear reactors. GE enrolled John at Stanford University, where he earned his Master's and Ph.D. degrees, finishing in 1968 while working full-time at GE. In 1978 he became a partner in S. Levy Inc., a consulting firm to the nuclear power industry. In 1989, he left S. Levy to start his own company, Hench Control, which created and installed computer-driven control systems for industrial refrigeration facilities all over the world.
John was an eternal optimist and took on any new project fearlessly and enthusiastically. He will be fondly remembered for his good humor, his even temper, and his deeply philosophical nature. As an active member of the Catholic Church, John sang in St. Christopher's church choir, and was a long-time member and past president of the San Jose chapter of the Serra Club, fostering vocations for the priesthood in the diocese of San Jose. His love of Jazz led him to assemble several bands that played publicly in the South Bay Area over the years. John's first love was always his family, followed by his Catholic faith.
John was predeceased by Carmen, his wife of 55 years, in December 2013 and is survived by their three sons, Jim (Gerri), John (Anna) and Jere (Leslie), 9 grandchildren, his sister Carol Corbin, and his wife Jane (Machado) Hench.
A funeral mass celebrating his life will take place at 4:00 on Friday, November 22, 2019 at Saint Christopher's Catholic Church located at 2278 Booksin Avenue in San Jose, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Serra International at www.serrainternational.org/donate


View the online memorial for Dr. John Evan Hench
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times from Nov. 15 to Nov. 25, 2019
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