Jack Henry Port
Jack Henry Port, in his 90th year of earthly life, passed on to eternal life from his home in Huntingdon, on Jan. 9, 2019. Jack was born on Aug. 17, 1929 to Walter W. and Mertie E. (Howell) Port in Petersburg and was wed to Joyce Lejeune Bell on April 30, 1955 in Mount Union. The union of Jack and Joyce Port produced two sons: Robert Bell Port of Huntingdon and William Howell Port (wife Catherine Mary (Pauvlik) and son Jack Thomas) of Mechanicsburg. In addition to his immediate family, numerous extended family members remain, as Jack was one of nine siblings, along with a host of friends and business associates, to celebrate his life.
All who met Jack enjoyed his engaging personality, humor, and civic dedication. Mr. Port’s wife, Joyce, preceded him in death, passing away in May of 2010. Two of Jack’s siblings remain: Marian L. Gates, of Huntingdon, and Kermit W. Port, of Petersburg.
Jack acquired his formal education at the Petersburg Vocational High School, but was a graduating member of the inaugural class of the Juniata Valley High School in 1948, as his education was delayed for six months due to illness. Throughout his working career, Jack continued formal education at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Accounts and Finance and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking.
Raised in the Christian faith, Jack was a life-long Lutheran. He confirmed membership at Zion Lutheran Church in Petersburg in his youth and, after his marriage to Joyce, he was a member of Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Mount Union, for the remainder of his life. Jack served on the church council and was the church treasurer for many years.
Jack Port was a successful businessman who enjoyed an enviable career, spanning more than fifty-five years. Jack’s early work in the field of business was with Capital Blue Cross Health Insurance Corporation, serving as an Accounts Supervisor in Harrisburg and Philadelphia from 1952 to 1957. In 1957, Jack and Joyce returned to Mount Union, where Mr. Port worked as an Assistant Vice President for the Union National Bank and Trust Company in both Mount Union and Huntingdon offices from 1957 to 1968. In 1968, Mr. Port founded the Jack H. Port Agency Inc. From 1968 to 2008, Jack grew and expanded his insurance business across offices in Mount Union and Huntingdon while forming business partnerships with James T. Hicks and Robert B. Port. In 2008, after 40 years of business success, Jack and his partners sold the Jack H. Port Agency to the Central Insurers Group of Lewistown.
The list of civic and social associations that Jack H. Port maintained throughout his life is a testament to his core values and beliefs. While enjoying life to the fullest, Jack took civic responsibility seriously and was always ready to serve and lead in order to make the community better. Jack was a member of the Mount Union Chamber of Commerce and Area Development Corporation and he served for more than two decades on the Huntingdon County Housing Authority Board. Among the many civic/social organizations that Jack associated with throughout his long life are: the Free and Accepted Masons, Lions Club, Boy Scouts, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Nittany Lion Club and the Quarry Hollow Hunting Club.
In the prime of life, Jack and Joyce Port were a formidable team for good in the community of Mount Union and in Huntingdon County. While each was unique in their approach, they fed off of their mutual enthusiasm and passion for serving and being with others in the community. Beyond basic membership in community organizations, Jack H. Port served in leadership positions and was recognized for his good works throughout his life in various ways. He served as the President of the Mount Union Lions Club during its glory years in the 1970s and ’80s. He served as the President of the Juniata Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America from 1983 to 1986 and was recognized with the Silver Beaver Award, the Vigil Honor Award, and the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award for his work in Scouting. In 1989 Jack, along with his wife Joyce, were recognized with the “Good Scout Award” for their work in Scouting in Huntingdon County. Finally, for his community engagement in the realm of Freemasonry, Jack was conferred as a 33rd Degree Freemason in 1976. Through it all, beyond formal organizational offices, awards and recognition was a simple, plain-spoken man that people truly enjoyed spending time with. He was a testament to his time and place in the world and a man who is already missed by many.
A public visitation will be held for Jack Henry Port at the Robert D. Heath Funeral Home, 61 East Shirley St., Mount Union from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18. The public visitation will be preceded by a Masonic Service from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (public is welcome to attend the Masonic Service). A funeral service will be conducted for Jack Henry Port at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Saint Luke Lutheran Church, corner of Market and South Jefferson Streets, Mount Union. The funeral service will be immediately followed by a committal service at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Petersburg. All are welcome to attend.
As per Jack’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, friends and family may want to consider a donation to the Juniata Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America, 9 Taylor Drive, Reedsville, PA 17084; or a community charity of choice.
The family wishes to extend its thanks to the many friends, family, well-wishers and healthcare providers who have made Jack’s recent illness and passing as comfortable as possible. Special thanks is rendered to the hospice team members who cared for Jack in his final weeks.