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The Rev. Jacob Franklin (Frank) Mentzer II, 89

May 14, 2010
  • The Rev. Jacob Franklin (Frank) Mentzer II
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JUNE 5, 1920-MAY 10, 2010

QUINCY, Pa. - Rev. Jacob Franklin (Frank) Mentzer II, 89, of Cottage 602-B Marshview Drive, Quincy, Pa., entered into eternal rest at 4:30 p.m., Monday, May 10, 2010, in his home. He had been in failing health since Virginia, his wife, partner and love of his life for 70 years, passed away Feb. 1, 2010.

Born June 5, 1920, in his mother's home in Greencastle, Pa., he was the son of the late Ralph C. and Olive (Goetz) Mentzer. He lived his early life in the Waynesboro, Pa., area, graduating from Waynesboro High School in 1938. He then worked as a clerk in the production department of Frick Co. before becoming an apprentice machinist. He later moved to the Landis Machine Co. as a tool designer under Harry Henneberger.

After meeting at a dance in Mont Alto State Park in 1939, he and Virginia Mae Stanley were married on June 13, 1941, in her home in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. They lived in the Philadelphia area, Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Md., Santa Fe, N.M., Charles Town, W.Va., Cumberland, Md., and Hagerstown, Md., moving to Quincy Village in 1996.

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Frank Mentzer reported for military service in 1943 and served at the rank of Sgt. Major U.S. Army in the South Pacific during World War II.

A gifted artist and illustrator, he attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now the University of the Arts), graduating in 1950. In 1980, he graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary of the United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., and was ordained deacon.

Frank was a true renaissance man, supported every step of the way by his devoted Virginia. While working for the research division of the Atlantic Refining Company in Philadelphia, he was contacted by the A.C.Gilbert Co. to rewrite and illustrate a children's chemistry set manual. This came to the attention of the Harris D. McKinney Industrial Advertising Agency, where he was hired as an account executive and handled advertising for six firms. He moved to the Richardson, Thomas and Bushman Agency as Vice-President and Creative Director. Independently, he created and published the first camping magazine in the USA, Family Camping Magazine, which later became a full-time job and labor of love.

He next worked for the National Park Service as First Assistant to the Regional Director for Public Affairs in the 16-state Northeast Region. In 1968, Frank was appointed Superintendent of a cluster of NPS units: Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, The Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Greenbelt Park, Md. He received the highest honor given by the U.S. Department of the Interior, The Meritorious Service Award, for his work at Catoctin in 1972. In 1973, Frank became Associate Regional Director of the Southwest Region of the NPS in Santa Fe, N.M., covering more than 30 parks in six states. There, he created a program called Right Around Home to encourage park visitors to explore parks close to home during the 1973 energy crisis. The program was recognized as one of the top 10 programs in the United States within or outside of government.

In 1978, he was called to the ministry, and was ordained minister in 1980 by the Baltimore Conference of The United Methodist Church. His first charge was a three-church circuit in the Shenandale United Methodist Parish near Charles Town, W.Va. He was later pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Cumberland, Md.

His retirement years were spent researching and writing about area history, genealogy and biblical interpretation.

Frank Mentzer volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America for the Valley Forge Council, where he served as Cub Master, Scout Master, Explorer Advisor and with the council offices. He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Waynesboro, Pa., the church in which he was raised and served early on as leader of the youth fellowship.

The Rev. Mentzer is survived his son, Jacob Franklin Mentzer III and his wife, Debbie (Schaeve), of Rockford, Ill.; daughter, Susanne Mae Mentzer and her husband, Edward M. Anderson, of Houston; one grandson, Benjamin Douglas Landmesser, of San Francisco; a cousin, Harriet Whitsett of Charlotte, N.C.; and a number of nieces, nephews and godchildren.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brother, Cyril L. Mentzer; and sister, Elaine (Mentzer) Rowe Hicks.

A memorial service will be at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 16, 2010, in Christ United Methodist Church, 100 S. Church St., Waynesboro, the Rev. Dr. A. Robert Cook officiating. Burial will follow in Burns Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro.

There will be no public viewing. The family will receive friends one hour before services in the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Quincy Village Benevolent Care Fund, P.O. Box 128, Quincy, PA 17247 or to The University of the Arts, 320 Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, Waynesboro, is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at http://www.bowersoxfuneralhomes.com.

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