Community service was key to Pangborn Corp. retiree

September 23, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Jack N. Trovinger, who died Sept. 14 at the age of 87. His obituary appeared in the Sept. 15 edition of The Herald-Mail.

Although he had no children of his own, Jack Trovinger was said to be quite pleased when his nephew Terry Trovinger's grandson - born on April 3 - was named after him.

"Uncle Jack got to visit with his namesake Jack several times," said niece Virginia "Jenny" Martin, who was named after Jack's wife.

Jack Trovinger died Sept. 14 at the age of 87.

Reflecting on her 62 years of marriage to Jack, Virginia Trovinger said they met through friends back in 1945.

"A fellow brought him around and that was it," she said. "It was love at first sight."


Already employed at the Pangborn Corp. since 1939, Jack had been deemed ineligible for military service in World War II because of his hearing, Jenny said.

The young couple collected stamps and sold ham sandwiches for the war effort. "I remember marching in a parade with Jack and a group from Pangborn when the war was over," Virginia said.

Jack climbed the corporate ladder at Pangborn, retiring as senior buyer after 43 years there. But he never forgot his obligation to serve his community.

Throughout his life, Jack was active in his church - St. John's Lutheran - and his fire company - First Hose. Ironically, Jack was on the call with First Hose when St. John's had a fire nearly four decades ago.

In a 1995 interview, Jack said he used to come to the fire hall as a boy with his father, John J. Trovinger, a member for more than 50 years.

The horse stables used to be where the TV room is now, Jack said in that interview.

When the fire bell rang, each of the two horses would automatically walk underneath a hanging harness. "That was unbelievable," Jack said in the 1995 interview on the early days of First Hose.

Virginia worked at Leiter Brothers as a bookkeeper in the office. When they were younger, the couple did some traveling but mostly spent their spare time working for the church and the fire company.

Jack served the fire company as secretary for 48 years and during his fire service career won several awards, including Fireman of the Year in 1984.

Niece Brenda Martin said she always remembered how dedicated her Uncle Jack was to the First Hose. Others had those same memories.

"Jack was old school ... very meticulous as a recordkeeper," said friend and fellow First Hose firefighter Blaine Snyder. "He was congenial and a good mediator - Jack had no bad traits."

The Trovinger family history in Washington County is long, according to cousin Mark Trovinger. "The Trovingers came to America from Germany in 1730 and have been in Hagerstown since 1787," he said.

Jack's great-great-grandfather fought in the War of 1812, Mark said. Other Trovinger ancestors played roles in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Friends and relatives recalled that whatever Jack became involved in, he always gave his best.

Jack and Virginia lived and volunteered at Ravenwood from 1990 until 2004 after they left their longtime home on Wayside Avenue.

"Wherever they were, they were always involved," Jenny said.

When his health began to fail, Jack was back and forth from the hospital to Beverly Healthcare to Ravenwood where he passed away. For a time, he was at the Village at Robinwood where Virginia still resides.

Together for a family picnic on July 4, Jack and Virginia remained close despite his illness.

"I would go visit Jack when he was at Ravenwood and I was living here," Virginia said.

The Herald-Mail Articles