John “Jack” G. Stevens
July 06, 1923 ‒ March 17, 2017
Jack Stevens self proclaimed, he had a “charmed life”. He felt blessed by all of his life experiences and by the guardian angel that kept him safe in times of danger and life’s challenges.
Born July 6, 1923 in Follansbee West Virginia,the youngest of six children; Jack throughout his life, would comment about how special women are,citing the qualities of his three older sisters and prodigious mother. Jack’s family moved to Warren, Ohio where his father worked as a metallurgist. Jack graduated from Warran G. Harding High School in 1941.
Following high school, Jack and his parents moved to Mansfield,OH where he spent much of his free time playing tennis; prior to his enlistment into the United States Marine Corps in 1942.
His guardian angel worked overtime during the next few years, beginning with Jack being selected to be an fighter plane mechanic on the last day of USMC Boot Camp while the rest of his platoon became ground combat troops. As a fighter plane crew chief, Jack spent the remaining years of World War II on an aircraft carrier fighting , U.S.S Cape Gloucester, the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. He would tell stories about riding out typhoons, enduring Kamikaze attacks, plane crash landings on the flight deck, flight deck fires, diving off the flight deck and swimming in the middle of the ocean. He commented, ‘we were all to young to realize the danger we were in on a daily basis.” His most poignant memory was of cruising into Tokyo Bay to pick-up and then deliver prisoners of war home, to San Diego, Ca…twice; and noting that the American pow’s where in the pourest condition of all the Allied POW’s.
After WWII, Jack attended Kent State University and earned a degree in Child Psychology. He and a few buddies started the Kent State Sandwich Co. with the idea of putting sub sandwiches in vending machines. Their business was located under the sidewalks of Kent, OH, and accessed by a manhole in the sidewalk. The Company never got off the ground due to “eating all the profits while playing poker in their ‘corporate office’”.
During his senior year at Kent State, Jack met Dorothy Ann Nash. After their six month long distance courtship,on December 29, 1948 he married, “the kindest and gentlest person he had ever known.” The couple were married for 68 years and raised 4 children.
Jack was a pioneer in Data Processing; beginning with automating the process of posting grade cards for one high school, and progressing over the next 20 years to processing class registrations and grade cards for all area high schools, generating the city’s utility bills, employee payrolls and scheduling the Mehock relays. Interesting to him was that his staff never grew, but the capacity of the computers and processors did. After retirement he worked as a dairy and orchard laborer and then an independent handy man well into his mid 80’s.
In various periods of life Jack enjoyed home improvement projects, playing bridge, singing in a babarshop chorus, family swimming and local swim meets. In retirement he spent time exploring the country via road trips with his wife. He was drawn to our nation’s oceans, lakes and waterways. He became a self taught stained glass artisan and enjoyed gardening and remodeling their 150 yr old farm house in Vermilion, OH.
Jack believed that a man had true integrity if his actions garnered the respect of his opposers as well as his supporters.
He was preceeded in death by his father, mother and siblings and by his son Michael Nash Stevens. Jack is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughters Susan Stevens and Marsha Sawyer, son Bruce Stevens, 4 grandchildern and 8 great grandchilderen
A graveside service will be held in Jack’s memory at a later date.
Contribution’s in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association can be made by going to http://www.alz.org or mail to 2500 North Reynolds Road, Toledo, OH 43615-2820.
Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Jack’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com
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