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Obituary: Felgenhauer, Jack Robert “Papa Jack” (Age 92)

FELGENHAUER, Jack Robert “Papa Jack” (Age 92) Surrounded by his family, Jack Felgenhauer passed away peacefully on August 4, 2013. Jack was larger than life, always giving to his family, his agriculture profession, and his large community. He was born April 7, 1921, in Fairfield, Washington. Jack, 92, was a fourth-generation farmer and a descendant of south Spokane County pioneer families, dating to as early as 1878, through his mother (Kegley and Yount) and his father (Felgenhauer). Jack served proudly in the U.S. Navy from 1944-1946. He received his basic training at Farragut Naval Training Center on Lake Pend Oreille, later serving in the Philippines until the end of World War II. After returning home, Jack joined his brother, Elden, on the family farm three miles NW of Fairfield. Jack loved the land and was so proud to be a farmer and to support agriculture in many leadership positions. He served on the Washington Wheat Commission from 1971-1976 (chairman in 1973-1974). He was president of the wheat grower associations of Spokane County and Washington State (1970), and ultimately the National Association of Wheat Growers (1980). He also served on the International Trade Affairs Council and the Ag Council for America board. During the early 1980s, he often testified in Washington, D. C. in the support of grain farmers. In his leadership role, he met formally in the White House with President Carter, and later he was recommended to serve on President Reagan’s export council. In 1993, Jack established a fellowship for wheat farmers to participate in the Washington Ag Forestry Education Foundation, making it possible to this day for farmers to go through a two year leadership program. In 1974, Jack and his wife, Gloria, moved to the Spokane Valley where he became involved in the Spokane community. He joined Rotary clubs in the Spokane Valley, using his leadership talents to give back to others. One of the many programs that he chaired was the Pendleton Scholarship Fund which helps youth receive a vocational education. When he was in his 70s, he was invited to Tiblisi, Georgia, to teach farmers in the former Soviet republic how to operate grain combines. While he was there, he noted there were no Rotary clubs in Georgia, and an orphanage for deaf children had no heat in the winter. Jack returned home and promptly went to work solving these problems. Two years later Jack returned to Georgia to see the results of his efforts to help establish Rotary in Tiblisi. He also was there to dedicate the new orphanage boiler that was funded by Rotary. A plaque was placed on the boiler thanking “Papa Jack,” a name he proudly carried from then on. Jack was a member of Fairfield Masonic Lodge and he was on the board of the Spokane Valley Hospital Foundation. He was also chairman of the building committee for Fairfield Presbyterian Church. In his personal time, Jack loved traveling to places such as South America, India, and Australia. He also immensely enjoyed spending time with family at his place on Lake Coeur d’ Alene. Despite Jack’s innumerable accomplishments, he always had time for his family. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Gloria; two daughters, Sally (Bill) Baird, of Tacoma and Susan (Al) Anderberg of Spokane Valley; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; his sister Lois (Wayne) Watson of Lancaster, Calif.; and numerous nephews and nieces. A celebration of his life will be Monday, August 12 at 1 p.m. at Fairfield Presbyterian Church, 106 S. McNeil, Fairfield, WA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the R. B. Pendleton Rotary Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 14093, Spokane Valley, WA 99214 or Fairfield Care senior living center, 503 S. Hilltop Lane, Fairfield, WA 99012.