After realizing the college path was not an option for him off the bat, Veteran Jack Kemeny established a successful career with the Marine Corps and eventually found himself achieving not just one, but two diplomas! On top of it all, he is involved in numerous veteran organizations and the Lions Club which all serve to give back to the community and those in need.
Veteran Jack Kemeny gave the college path a try straight out of high school. He attended Drexel Institute of Technology for a semester and came to the realization that he was not ready for college at the time. Jack enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1962, and his first two years were spent at the Naval Air Station in Willow Grove, PA. Due to the recommendation of his Commanding Officer at the time, Jack began his college studies again at Penn State University and graduated in 1967 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. At graduation, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant and soon thereafter attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA and Engineering Officer School at Camp Lejeune.
Afterwards, Jack served a 13-month tour in Vietnam and later assigned his next station at the Marine Barrack in Pearl Harbor, HI. While in Hawaii, he worked his way up to Barracks Admin Officer all while earning his master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California.
After leaving the military, Jack began his civilian career as a Cost Engineer with Bechtel Power Corporation aiding in the development of nuclear powerplants. As his time with the company continued, he found himself in numerous new roles including services manager, project manager, and business development manager. After 20 years with Bechtel Power Corporation, Jack moved on to other engineering companies before retiring as a Regional Vice President with Ford, Bacon & Davis in Atlanta, GA.
Jack did not stop after retirement though. In 1997 he moved to Southport, NC and obtained his General Contractors license and began building houses for retirees moving to the North Carolina coast. From there, he earned his Home Inspectors license and worked with realtors and homebuyers in the area.
While living in Southport, he joined the Lions Club, a service organization dedicated to improving the lives and wellbeing of neighbors in the local community. The Southport Lions Club has improved their community with Camp Dogwood and the VIP Fishing Tournament. Both operations provide self-development, personal growth opportunities, and educational fulfillment for the visually impaired and blind. The Southport Lions Club also offers scholarship opportunities for local high school students.
Jack’s dedication to the Lions Club did not end when he left Southport. In 2009 he moved to Raleigh, NC and joined the Wake Forest Lions Club where he continues to serve his community. In Raleigh, Jack also joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), The American Legion, and the Marine Corps League in Wake Forest – all of which raise funds to support veterans and active military in need.
Our ALCOVA Raleigh, NC branch was honored to present Jack with his Hometown Hero award.
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