9 entries
  • "Dear Mike, I am saddened to hear of your loss and would..."
  • "Nadia: Nadia: I saw your father's death announcement in..."
    - Michael Butler
  • "Nadia (and Tongour Family), Your father touched many lives..."
    - Earl Grubbs
  • "We were deeply saddened to learn of your loss and extend..."
    - Ben & Peggy Kinlaw
  • "So sorry to hear about Mr. Jack. I got to know him from..."
    - Emmylou Brown
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TONGOUR JACK TONGOUR (Age 95) Died October 20, 2012, in Washington, DC, where he had recently come to be nearer his children and their families. Born October 18, 1917, in Simferopol, Russia (now Ukraine), at the onset of the Russian Revolution, which strongly impacted his life. His father was a military lawyer with the anti-Soviet forces, which eventually evacuated to Istanbul, Turkey. Subsequently, Jack and his mother escaped Russia and joined his father, where they remained for many years as part of a Russian émigré community. While receiving a basic education in Istanbul, he was primarily self-educated. A voracious reader, he was fluent in five languages. He completed his compulsory military service in Turkey during WWII. In Istanbul, he met Stella Tomsky, another Russian émigré. They married in 1945. Daughter Nadia was born in Turkey. Jack and Stella long dreamed of living in America. Their immigration was approved in 1950, thanks to the sponsorship of his future employer, the President of National Fasteners Corp., a zipper company. He eventually rose to be plant manager of the company's main manufacturing facility in Barnwell, SC. He ran the plant successfully, helped expand the company's overall business, and supervised the building of other plants in Europe and South America. He retired as Plant Manager in 1985, after 35 years of service. Son, Michael, was born in SC. As part of Jack's American dream, and despite being deprived of his own opportunity for a formal, higher education, he strongly encouraged and ensured that his daughter, wife, and son all obtained advanced degrees. He was extremely proud of their accomplishments. He devoted significant energy and time to improving his community, becoming a leader of the Barnwell County Library and Museum, and serving on the Library Board for many years. He was active in the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in Barnwell, serving as a Vestryman and Senior Warden. He was a Mason and a Shriner (over 50 years), and President of the Barnwell Lions Club. He had a superb sense of humor and zest for life. He loved foreign travel, art, theater, music, cooking, and cards. He played bridge until his last days, and especially enjoyed the camaraderie of his card playing friends. He was a devoted husband to Stella, his wife of 66 years who died in February 2012. In the last few months, he enjoyed spending time with his children, daughter-in-law, Lalie, and four grandchildren: Dana (20), Jack (12), Alec (10) and Stella (8), (his survivors), and his new friends in his independent living residence (Thomas Circle). He maintained his quick wit and mental acuity until his last days, and died peacefully. A memorial service will be held at St Patrick's Episcopal Church in Washington on November 4 at 4:30 pm. The family will be pleased to greet friends at a reception following the service. Later next month, there will be a service and burial in SC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the Barnwell County Library Foundation, 40 Burr Street, Barnwell, SC 29812, or to The Lab School of Washington, 4759 Reservoir Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20007, or to St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 4700 Whitehaven Pkwy. NW, Washington, DC 20007, or to any other charity in his memory. DeVol Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements (202-333-6680).

Published in The Washington Post on Oct. 28, 2012
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