Jack Podel, 92, born July 25, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed away July 9 in Glendale.
He was the second son of Levi (Louis) and Mirke (Mary) Podel.
In 1942, at the age of 16, Jack joined the Civil Air Patrol, hoping to become a pilot. His vision was too poor for him to follow that dream, but not so for the infantry. In 1944, Jack was drafted into the Army and soon found himself on the other side of the world. On May 12, 1945, he was wounded in the Philippines. Before his release from the hospital in July — the day before his 19th birthday — he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Returning to Philadelphia, Jack went to work at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and later in Trenton, NJ as a civilian for the Navy and the Defense Industrial Supply Center (DISC) as a mechanic on experimental jet engines. As his father had been an immigrant from Russia, Jack was considered a security risk and was not allowed to work on classified projects. That didn’t stop the engineers from calling on him when they needed his expertise.
On March 24, 1951, Jack married the love of his life, Miriam Ellis. By the end of that year, they had started their family with the birth of their son, Robert. In the years that followed, they welcomed another son, Terry, and a daughter, Roslyn. In 1978, Jack, Miriam and Terry relocated to Phoenix, where Jack worked at Garrett AiResearch as a government QA inspector for military projects.
After his retirement, Jack enjoyed playing tennis and visiting Sedona, and for many years was a volunteer in the Glendale Elementary School District.
Jack is survived by sons Bob (Karen) and Terry; daughter Lynn (Bill) Gangloff; and four grandchildren, all of Phoenix. He was preceded in death by his wife Miriam and his brother Nathan z”l.
Donations requested to the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center. Arrangements by Sinai Mortuary