Jack Monroe Weinel, 97, passed on August 10, 2023. He is survived by his children: Diana, Jacqueline, Bryan (Dawn) Weinel and Laura Mroczko. His grandchildren include: Mandi Martinez, Stephen (Adrianna) Heding, Shawn (Hannah) Mroczko, Amanda (Eric) Martinez, Ashley Stanley, Austin, Bruce (Dee) Pancoast Jr, Eileen (Sean) Stevenson, Kim Schwartz, Christina Wright and great grandchildren: Christian and Jayden Martinez, Nathan and Archie Heding, Landon Mroczko, Brittany, Bradley & Kaitlyn Pancoast, Eli & Helena Stevenson, Ethan and Colin Ruehl, Destini Randall and Chanselar Wright. Jack was predeceased by wives Phyllis, Roberta, and Helen and sons William and Randy.
Jack was born September 25, 1925 in McKeesport, PA to Lawrence and Jane Weinel. He had two brothers: William and Kenneth. He attended McKeesport Vocational High School where he learned welding and developed an interest in woodworking. Jack was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and was pursuing religious studies. He joined the US Army in 1943. As a TS-4 Jack was a mechanic, truck driver, and machine gunner in the 757th Field Artillery Battalion. During the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign he fought in New Guinea and the Philippines. His battalion participated in the liberation of Santo Tomas Internment camp in the Philippines. Jack was awarded 3 Bronze Stars and a WW2 Victory Medal. Following the war he returned to McKeesport where he worked in the steel mills until most mills closed. During that time he also learned watch repair. Jack and his family moved to Tampa in 1956. He initially worked for GTE where he learned how to operate their printing machines. Jack subsequently worked for Powell Electric and then Jackson Products managing their reproduction department for 15 years. In 1971 he started at Greiner Engineering (which is now URS) in their reproduction department. He experienced the growth of the department as well as the advances in printing. Jack was a quick learner and easily mastered the operation and troubleshooting of the modern printing equipment. He retired in 1994 but continued to work 2 to 3 days week for 13 more years.
In 1948 Jack married Phyllis Gossman who he had been dating during high school. They had two children: Diana and William. Six years after his wife’s death Jack married Roberta Heding. They were married for 25 years and had three children and a stepson: Randy, Laura, Jacqueline and Bryan. In 1990 Jack married Helen Burns. They had 16 years together prior to her death.
Following his retirement Jack started traveling, starting with cruises and road trips and moving on to tours to other countries. Jack was interested in seeing as much of the world as possible. He was able to see many places such as the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, ice calving in Alaska, the black sand in Hawaii, Big Ben in London, Red Square in Russia and walk on the Great Wall of China. He met distant relatives in England and Germany. While in Italy Jack was able to visit his brother William’s grave site where he was buried during World War 2. Jack also enjoyed riding the old trains, especially the steam train in Colorado. It aligned with his hobby of model trains. In his later years he spent time gardening, especially growing cacti, and making wooden planters.
Jack was an active member of the VFW, Moose Club, and the American Legion. Over the years he held several offices at American Legion Post 152 and was involved in planning various activities and functions. Jack and Helen edited and printed the post’s monthly newsletter for many years. He participated in the annual Veterans Day parade which the Post 152 initiated. As Jack grew older his active involvement decreased, but he continued to attend functions as he was able. He valued the comradery and friendships of his fellow legionnaires.
Jack was extremely patriotic. His was the first house in his neighborhood with a permanent in ground flag pole. He was an Honors Flight honoree to the WW2 monument in Washington and a Soaring Valor Flight honoree to the WW2 museum in New Orleans. Although he wasn’t keen on public speaking he would share his stories regarding WW2 at local elementary schools. Jack was a hardworking man who was fiercely independent. He loved his family and enjoyed time spent with them.
Jack enjoyed a full life on earth and now is blessed with the joys of heaven.
A committal service with military honors will be held 11:00 September 22 at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Following the service a Celebration of Life will be held at American Legion Post 152, 11211 Sheldon Rd. Tampa, FL
Memorial donations may be made to American Legion Post 152, 11211 Sheldon Rd. Tampa, FL 33625 or Pepin Academies Tampa Campus, 3916 E. Hillsborough Ave. Tampa, FL 33610.