We are sad to share that Jack . Congrove, an ATA leader for 35 years, died April 8, 2020, in Ft. Lewis, Wash. Jack was ATA second vice president and had leadership roles in many other philatelic organizations. He will be missed by his many friends around the world.
Jack R. Congrove of Ft. Lewis, Wash., an ATA leader for 35 years, died April 8, 2020, of cancer at age 72.
Just prior to his death, he was presented the ATA's highest award, Distinguished Topical Philatelist, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to philately, especially topical philately. The award will also be presented this year to Wayne L. Youngblood.
Jack filled many roles in ATA over the years. He joined the ATA board in 2015, and became second vice president in 2016. As a member of the ATA executive board, he provided leadership in finance and strategic planning, and ATA benefitted in many ways from his creative ideas and practical problem-solving skills. He was willing to take on big projects, but was also available for small chores at stamp shows, such as cancelling cachets or setting up a booth. He chaired the Portland National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS) with Orlie Trier in 2015.
Most recently he was co-editor of ATA handbook #168, Topical Adventures – A Guide to Topical and Thematic Stamp Collecting, which will be published this summer. Martin Kent Miller is designing the sections that were not finished by Jack.
Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Financier, Statesman, Founder, Jack's acclaimed exhibit, won the Grand Award and large gold medal at the NTSS in 2018. He subsequently showed the exhibit in the APS Champion of Champions exhibition in Omaha, Neb., 2019. He also exhibited Covered Bridges of Fairfield County, Ohio. He collected butterfly and moth stamps, and planned to prepare an exhibit.
Jack was an accomplished philatelic writer and editor. He edited Biophilately, the gold medal winning journal of the Biology Study Unit from 2011 until his death. He also served as a director of the unit for the past 10 years. In 2013, he wrote the history of the unit.
Jack edited the Federated Philatelist, the journal of the Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs, from 2014 until his death. In 2016, the Federation recognized Jack with their highest honor, the Northwest Distinguished Philatelist Award, for his contributions to philately.
He was also editor of the newsletter of the Northwest chapter of the American Airmail Society.
One of Jack's favorite projects was the Seattle Philatelic Exhibition (SEAPEX). He was instrumental in gaining World Series of Philately status for SEAPEX in 2015, and served as president of the board.
Jack was an active member in the Evergreen Stamp Club in Kent, Wash., giving presentations and assisting greatly at the bi-annual club shows. Jack was instrumental in securing ATA Chapter status for the club in 2016.
An APS member since 2012, Jack frequently volunteered in the youth section at its shows. In 2017, he received the Nicholas Carter Recognition Award for National Service. He was a member of many philatelic organizations, including the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, Women Exhibitors, Military Postal History Society, Americana Study Unit, Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, Biology Study Unit, Gastronomy on Stamps Study Unit and Wine on Stamps Study Unit.
Jack grew up on his parents' dairy farm in Pickerington, Ohio, where he learned his strong work ethic and developed the habit of getting up at 5 a.m., something he did his entire life. He was valedictorian of his high school class and continued to stay in touch with his classmates. He went on to earn a B.S. degree in chemical engineering at Ohio University.
After serving 20 years as a US Army field artillery officer, Jack retired at the rank of major. He served in Vietnam, Germany and on the UN Peace Keeping Forces in the Middle East. Following retirement, he worked for a contractor supporting Army testing at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Ft. Lewis, Wash. He also owned a printing and publishing company, where he edited academic and commercial publications.
Jack had many friends throughout the world. When we hear the phrase, "When you want to get something done, ask a busy person," he immediately comes to mind. He will be remembered for his warmth, ready smile and, of course, for his signature apparel—the baseball cap.